Tucker’s War

Posted February 19, 2003

©2003 G. E. Rule

No reproduction or distribution without consent of author.

Tucker’s War:

Missouri and the Northwest Conspiracy

by

G. E. Rule

Copyright G. E. Rule, 2002

“So boys answer when we call; make our legions strong.
Knights of the Golden Circle come and join the Rebel throng.
We’ll raise the banner high once more and give the rebel yell;
Come follow us to victory or march with us through hell.”

–Bob Dyer, “The Last Great Rebel Raid” (1993),

from Johnny Whistletrigger: Civil War Songs from the Western Border, Vol 1.

Joseph W. Tucker was one of the hottest “fire-eaters” in Missouri. Thirty-eight years old when the Civil War began, he is described as a well-built man of two hundred pounds, six feet tall, with blue eyes and dark hair.[1] Lawyer, devout Methodist deacon, educator, St. Louis newspaper editor, and ally of Governor Claiborne F. Jackson and General Sterling Price, Tucker would be near the center of Confederate Missouri affairs over the course of the war.

Joseph Wofford Tucker was born on October 4, 1822 in Spartanburg County, South Carolina to Samuel Willis Tucker and Laodicea Tucker (nee Howard). His father was a man of means, with slaves to work the farm and do the household chores. Young Tucker chose the law as his profession and was admitted to the bar in 1844, the same year of his marriage to Miss Emily Barry, also of Spartanburg. In 1847, he was elected to the state legislature. His Wofford relatives had a proud history in the area, and he chose to emphasize the connection, calling himself “J. Wofford Tucker”.

In 1850, his uncle, Reverend Benjamin Wofford, passed away, bequeathing $100,000 for the establishment of a college in Spartanburg to be run under the authority of the state Methodist Conference. Several members of the late Reverend’s family were named to the provisional board of trustees, including 28 year-old J. Wofford Tucker. The Methodist Conference elected him to the first permanent Board as well. More than one hundred fifty years later, Wofford College is a respected and successful private institution on the same grounds as the original campus.[2]

Besides a lucrative law practice and the state legislature, Tucker also became an editor of the Carolina Spartan. Continuing his interest in education, in 1855 he was elected president of the newly established Spartanburg Female College. A serious financial setback in 1858—cause unknown—became the impetuous for a move west.[3]

In an attempt to revive his finances, Tucker moved his wife and three children to St. Louis, changing the form of his name to “Joseph W.” or “J. W.” at the same time. He opened a law practice with Thomas C. Johnson on Olive Street, joined a local Methodist church, and started a newspaper. His interest in education undimmed, by 1860 he was a member of the Board of Curators of the University of Missouri.[4]

As the secession crisis began to build to a climax in early 1861, Tucker and his Missouri State Journal were stridently engaged in the debates over Missouri’s future course. Pro-secession Governor Jackson and his allies were deeply concerned about their ability to control St. Louis, and Tucker was their champion in the press, smiting Unionists and “submissionists” wherever he found them.

While Tucker, in deference to his status in his church, was usually known as “Deacon”, his personality reminded no one of the kindly stereotype usually associated with that position. One of his ecclesiastical colleagues, Pro-Union Baptist minister Galusha Anderson, once found himself on the pointed end of a Tucker diatribe:

Believing with all his heart in the righteousness of secession, and wishing both in season and out of season, to strike telling blows against all advocates of Unionism, he came out in an editorial, one Saturday evening, in which he said: “The devil preaches at the corner of Sixth and Locust Streets, and he is just the same sort of a being that he was more than eighteen hundred years ago; he wants everybody to bow down and worship him.” Now since that was just where I preached, the editorial was rather personal, and was intended to be offensive. The deacon, fearing that I might miss reading his highly complimentary words, and so lack the stimulus that they might impart to my Sunday ministrations, early on the morning of the Lord’s day, sent a copy of his paper to me by special messenger, having thoughtfully marked his amiable editorial with his blue pencil. Instead of demanding satisfaction of the pious editor as almost any hot‑blooded Southerner of that day would have done, the blue‑penciled editorial was read at my breakfast‑table amid roars of laughter.[5]

Happily, Anderson chose to laugh off Tucker’s broadside, and thus spare St. Louis the spectacle of two devout men of the Lord resorting to the code duello to settle their differences.

As events continued to slide inexorably toward war, the State Journal was widely considered the leading secessionist paper in Missouri. Letters poured in from Unionists across the state to Pro-Union congressman Frank Blair’s Safety Committee in St. Louis, complaining bitterly that Tucker’s paper was providing aid and encouragement to the secessionists in their areas.[6]

Tucker worked closely with the other secessionist elements in St. Louis, including Basil Duke’s Minute Men. Union spy reports identified two leading Minute Men, Arthur McCoy and his brother-in-law Robert Louden, as “the head and front of all mischief” in the Minute Men’s efforts to keep the Unionists of St. Louis in an uproar and inflate estimates of their own strength.[7] Tucker and Louden would later be linked together in much more serious “mischief” at Union expense.

On the morning of May 10, 1861, the storm clouds that had been gathering over Missouri for months finally burst. Almost a month after armed hostilities had begun between the United States and the Confederate States at Fort Sumter, S. C., Captain Nathaniel Lyon led roughly seven thousand Missouri Volunteers and U. S. Reserves to surround approximately seven hundred state militiamen at their camp, named for the governor, on the outskirts of St. Louis. Outnumbered ten-to-one, militia general Daniel M. Frost had little choice but to surrender his command at Lyon’s demand. Lyon believed, correctly, that the camp was hostile to the U. S., and siege weapons, intended for use against the federal arsenal in the city, had been received from the Confederate government. However, a bloodless victory turned into tragedy and political capital for the secessionists when Lyon’s troops, goaded by throngs of onlookers while marching their prisoners back through the city to the arsenal, fired on the crowd. When the smoke cleared, twenty-eight people were dead, including women and children. Lyon later argued enraged secessionists in the crowd had fired first, wounding several of his soldiers, but most historians have concluded the Camp Jackson affair was a major blunder by the Unionist leaders of St. Louis.

A telegram that afternoon from Deacon Tucker to Governor Jackson brought the news of the events at Camp Jackson to the State legislature at Jefferson City, causing scenes of wild confusion and the immediate passage of the long-stalled Militia Bill giving the governor control of a newly strengthened Missouri State Guard.[8] Former governor Sterling Price, long a Pro-Union/Pro-Slavery Democrat, now rushed to Jefferson City to offer his services to the state. Jackson named Price Major-General commanding the State Guard on May 12, 1861.

Tucker’s relationship with the governor would lead to serious trouble for both of them. In the wake of Camp Jackson and the consolidation of Union control in St. Louis, Blair and his allies decided it was time to move against Tucker. Union authorities searched his office on July 12, 1861 and found a letter from the governor written on April 28. Jackson’s letter indiscreetly advocated secession for Missouri, and opined the state “ought to have gone out last winter when she could have seized the public arms and public property and defended herself”. This letter, along with Tucker’s public exhortations in defense of “state’s rights” and against “the murderer Lyon”, lead to suppression of the State Journal. Formal charges of treason against Tucker soon followed. James O. Broadhead, a Blair ally and by now Assistant District Attorney for Eastern Missouri, was the prosecutor.[9]

Interestingly, a footnote in Christopher Phillips’ Missouri’s Confederate hints—based on analysis of the handwriting—that the Jackson letter found in Tucker’s office may have been a forgery. While this is an intriguing theory rife with the possibility of bad faith and abuse of office by Union officials, it is unlikely. Thomas L. Snead, another St. Louis newspaperman who would “go south” first as aide to Governor Jackson, then as adjutant to General Price, and finally as a Confederate congressman for Missouri, worked closely with Tucker and Jackson both before and during the war. More than one hundred fifteen years after its publication, Snead’s The Fight For Missouri (1886) remains the best single source for political events in Missouri during 1861. Yet Snead breathes not a hint of skullduggery involved with Jackson’s letter to Tucker. It is highly likely if the letter were a fake and/or a plant, one or both men would have apprised Snead of the fact at the time or shortly thereafter. Such a juicy story at the expense of Union officials could hardly have failed to be included in his book. Genuine or fake, this letter would be one of the justifications cited by the Missouri Convention for removing Claiborne Jackson from the governor’s chair and replacing him with Unionist Hamilton R. Gamble.[10]

Less than confident in his ability to win a trial in Unionist St. Louis, Tucker jumped bail and fled, forfeiting a $10,000 bond.[11] He joined Governor Jackson in the fall of 1861 and started a new paper, the Missouri Army Argus to support Jackson and the State Guard. The first issue was published on October 28, 1861 at Neosho with an editorial note explaining “this little newspaper is paid for by the State, expressly for the use of the army.”[12] Tucker continued to rail against the Union “oppressors” infesting the state. He also used his newspaper as a recruiting tool for the Missouri Confederates.[13] The Argus would follow the Missourians on their travels over the course of the war, known first as the official organ of Governor Jackson. After Jackson’s death in late 1862, it became “universally regarded” as the voice of General Sterling Price.[14]

In December 1861, while the Guard and the Argus were in camp at Osceola, MO, a curious incident occurred. Two men were arrested in St. Joseph for distributing copies of a pamphlet promoting a new anti-Union secret society known as “The Emmanant”. The editors of the Missouri Republican quickly saw the hand of Deacon Tucker in the new society, basing their conclusions on the style of the diatribe in the pamphlets, the content of the oath required of new adherents, and the quantity and quality of the professionally printed material. By this time the Union had a firm hand on the presses of Missouri, and it was believed Tucker’s rebel press with the Argus at the camp of the State Guard was the most likely source of the pamphlets.[15] It would not be the last time Tucker would be linked to an anti-Union secret society.

After victories at the battles of Wilson’s Creek and Lexington, the war began to go badly for the Missouri Confederates. Forced by the burgeoning Union army into Arkansas, they made a credible bid to reclaim the state at the battle of Pea Ridge in March of 1862. A close-run affair that may have been decided by the untimely deaths of two senior southern officers, the Confederate defeat at Pea Ridge (also known as Elkhorn Tavern) had far-reaching consequences. Shortly afterwards, the Richmond government ordered the cream of the Missouri Confederate forces, the 1st and 2nd brigades, to cross the Mississippi in order to help stop Union General Ulysses S. Grant’s drive on Vicksburg, Mississippi. Tucker and his newspaper followed them, setting up shop at Jackson, Mississippi.[16]

With the mass of Missouri Confederate forces shifted to the east, regular organized resistance to Union rule diminished, and irregulars and guerrillas such as William Quantrill, “Bloody Bill” Anderson, Sam Hildebrand, and others became the main Confederate presence in the state. Spies and saboteurs infiltrated Union lines to maintain contact with the pro-southern elements and to harass Union communication & supply lines.

The longer the Union controlled Missouri, the more of a problem it would be for the Missouri Confederates. Although admitted by the Confederate congress on November 28, 1861, Missouri’s claim to be a Confederate state was of dubious legitimacy. While the Deep South and Virginia could afford to pursue a policy of “winning by not losing”, this strategy carried little comfort for the Missourians. Even if successful, they would be in a poor position to win their freedom from the Union at the eventual peace conference.

The Confederate Missouri leadership recognized this, but dealt with it in different fashions. Price and Tucker lobbied incessantly to return all of the Missouri troops to the west side of the Mississippi and use them and other Confederate troops to liberate the state. Thomas C. Reynolds, who had been elected Lt. Governor of Missouri in the election of 1860 and became Confederate Governor upon the death of Claiborne Jackson in 1862, tried a different tack. Reynolds chose to embrace the Davis administration as closely as possible so as to make it more difficult for them to toss Missouri over the side at the last minute. This difference in approaches brought tension between General Price and his lieutenants on one side and Governor Reynolds and the Richmond government on the other.

Tucker’s naturally combative personality made him particularly well-suited to the gadfly role, and raising hell with those who disagreed with him his instinctive response. His relationship with Price might remind the modern reader of the relationship of James Carville, known as “the ragin’ Cajun”, with his patron President Bill Clinton in the 1990s. Price could laugh off Tucker’s antics, providing plausible deniability for the General. Price availed himself of it whenever Richmond complained to him that Tucker’s needles in the Argus struck too deeply into President Davis’ hide.[17]

Meanwhile, the Confederate Missouri leadership used spies to keep itself informed of what was going on in the state. In 1862 and 1863, one of General Price’s most important couriers was the St. Louis Minute Man, Robert Louden.[18] Louden became a courier for Price in the summer of 1862, having been recruited by Absalom Grimes, “Official Mail Carrier” for Price and the Missouri Confederates. While Grimes specialized in letters between the troops and their families, with a lesser amount of courier work of an “official” nature, Louden’s work load seems to have been exactly the opposite in proportion. He had a regular route and schedule from Price in Arkansas, up the Mississippi to St. Louis, along the Missouri River through the Boonslick stronghold of the southerners, and then reverse the route back to Price.[19]

In late 1862, elections in the north went poorly for the Republicans, while the anti-war Democracy scored impressive gains. This was due in part to dissatisfaction with the war, particularly in the Northwest (today’s Midwest), and in part because the Northern states had not yet instituted policies allowing for absentee voting by their soldiers in the field. Ironically, this meant hundreds of thousands of the strongest Union supporters, those giving their blood and lives to support it, were not able to vote for like-minded candidates. Their absence in the 1862 polling was a significant factor in the Democrats’ success.[20]

By early 1863, anti-war politicians in the North were in a much stronger position than they had been in 1861 and 1862. A new name began to be heard across the Northwest—Order of American Knights, or OAK. Formed in early 1863[21], the nature of OAK would fuel a controversy that continues to this day.[22]

In March 1863, a book titled “A Voice From the Camp” was published in Missouri. The author, Lieutenant-Colonel Alexander M. Woolfolk of the Missouri State Militia, was a prominent Missouri Democrat, and would be a delegate to the infamous 1864 copperhead-dominated Democratic national convention at Chicago. Woolfolk was arrested, and his book suppressed, when it came to the attention of the Union authorities. It advocated Missouri join a new Northwest Confederacy instead of being in the Union or the Southern Confederacy.[23] Tucker would later tell Jefferson Davis the formation of a Northwest Confederacy was the main goal of OAK. Tucker’s Argus would call for a Northwest Confederacy as well, implying Missouri should be included, and worsening relations between his patron Price and Richmond.[24] Ironically, the Southern Confederacy did not believe in secession—at least not so far as its own states were concerned.

Judge Advocate General of the U. S. Army Joseph A. Holt would conclude OAK had its roots in the moribund “Knights of the Golden Circle” existing in the South before the war, but that Sterling Price had revived it in 1863 first as the “Southern League” and then as the Order of American Knights.[25] Price would have been a uniquely attractive partner in the eyes of Northern peace Democrats, and thus particularly well-suited to serve as a bridge between the northern and southern wings of the movement.[26] To what degree Price was a prime mover in the scheme—or more of a figurehead for the ambitions of his zealous and talented lieutenants—will probably never be known. It seems likely Price’s political lieutenants, Tucker and Thomas L. Snead, played a significant role in originating and pushing forward the Northwest Conspiracy.[27] By early 1863, OAK was holding meetings in St. Louis at the offices of Charles L. Hunt, “Supreme Commander for Missouri”.

Meanwhile, the Missouri troops under Brigadier-General John S. Bowen (Price having since returned to Arkansas without the 1st and 2nd Missouri Brigades) on the east side of the Mississippi continued to guard the southern approaches to Vicksburg. On May 1, 1863, they were attacked by Union General Ulysses S. Grant’s army at Grand Gulf and fought a slow retreat back towards the city, eventually being trapped with Confederate Lieutenant-General John C. Pemberton’s troops inside Vicksburg as Grant invested the city on May 18.

As the siege of Vicksburg continued, Confederate department commander Joseph E. Johnston received a proposal offering to help. The author of the proposal was J. W. Tucker.

Tucker’s patron, Price, had been shackled by his immediate commander in Arkansas, General Theophilus Holmes, and prevented from doing anything to interrupt Grant’s communications with the Northwest. Tucker blasted Holmes in a letter to the editor of the Jackson Mississippian on June 19, 1863. Among other failings, Tucker was incensed Holmes had “thwarted” others best efforts to disrupt Grant’s supplies.[28] If Holmes could not see what needed to be done, perhaps Johnston would be more amenable to supporting a strong course of action.

Johnston and Tucker knew that a lack of supplies could force Grant to loose his hold on Vicksburg. The year before, Grant’s drive on Vicksburg from the northern side had been aborted when a successful cavalry raid destroyed his supply base at Holly Springs. Something similar this time could make Grant turn back again.

The river was the key. St. Louis was the top of the supply chain in the theatre, and if the river supply line could be cut, Grant might have to give up for the year and take his army back north. Unfortunately for the Confederates, interdicting a river supply line is a much more difficult proposition than disrupting a railroad supply line. A single successful cavalry raid can tear up miles of railroad track and make the line useless for weeks or even months. Further, this could be accomplished without destroying a single train.

With a river, this method is simply not practical. Even when the Confederates held strong-points at Vicksburg and Port Hudson, the Union navy managed to pass those points successfully. It would be necessary to go after the boats themselves, particularly the supply boats.

During the Civil War, the privately owned commercial steamboats of the Mississippi River valley were in actual practice completely at the government’s disposal. One expert opined under oath “I consider every boat on the river to be in the government service, directly or indirectly.[29] Unfortunately, seldom was effort made to segregate military cargoes and passengers on the steamboats. Civilians often traveled on a boat that also carried Union soldiers and supplies.

Johnston later reported to his superiors on Tucker’s plan:[30]

During the siege of Vicksburg, Governor Pettus [of Mississippi] proposed to me the adoption of a plan suggested by Judge Tucker, to be executed under that gentleman’s direction, to cut off supplies from the besieging army. He required $20,000 to inaugurate it. I drew a check for that sum on the assistant treasurer in Mobile, in favor of Governor Pettus, who indorsed it to Judge Tucker. After considerable delay, caused by reference of the matter to the Treasury Department, the money was paid. While I remained in Mississippi, Judge Tucker was, I believe, using this money against the enemy’s navigation of the river. About the end of October, I wrote an explanation of the case to the Secretary of the Navy, to be delivered by Judge Tucker, who had large claims against that Department for enemy’s property destroyed on the water. [31]

What did Tucker tell Johnston that made the latter willing to contribute $20,000 to the effort? The support of Governor Pettus would have been helpful in this regard, and Johnston must also have known Tucker acted as a surrogate for General Sterling Price. Still, it seems likely the Deacon gave Johnston some idea of how he intended to accomplish the mission and the organization he could bring to the job.

Steamboats had been burning with regularity and in suspicious manners since late 1861.[32] It would have been easier to sell Johnston on the capabilities of an already existent organization that merely needed more resources and the imprimatur of official government sanction in order to expand its activities, than to convince him such an organization could be started from scratch in a useful timeframe.

Approximately two months after Tucker’s proposal to Johnston, too late to save Vicksburg, steamboats began to burn with great frequency. Twenty-one boats, the majority of which have been confirmed to be strikes by Tucker’s group, burned over the next eight months. (See Appendix A)

On September 3, 1863, General Price’s courier, Robert Louden, was arrested by Union authorities in St. Louis. Louden had been quite active in his year as Price’s courier. His trips included Detroit, Chicago, Indianapolis, Richmond, Philadelphia, and New York City.[33] In his possession at the time of his arrest were two letters in his own hand, signed “R.L” and “OAK”. One of these letters was addressed to “Major Pleasants”, who would later be identified by the Federals as “principal disbursing agent” for what the Union came to know as Tucker’s group.[34] Louden told Pleasants, “I have engaged the secret organization in the work. It will be a powerful lever for us, but funds will be required.” Another letter advised one of his key Memphis contacts that he was trying to get one OAK team to strike again soon in St. Louis, and would be taking another one to Ohio as soon as possible, probably the next day. He also claims, “the Ruth was a small affair comparatively, if all goes well”.[35] His partner, Grimes, confirms Louden was responsible for the burning of the steamer Ruth near Cairo, Illinois the previous month, killing twenty-six, destroying a $2.6 million Union payroll, and initiating a reign of fire on the Mississippi.[36]

Although Louden was now in Gratiot Street military prison, and would be sentenced to death by a military commission in Dec, 1863, his colleagues with Tucker’s group continued burning steamboats. Two weeks after Louden’s arrest they struck at the St. Louis levee, destroying four boats. A few weeks later they did it again, burning another three boats at St. Louis.[37]

Between the battle of Gettysburg in the east, and the loss of Vicksburg in the west, 1863 had been a disastrous year for the young Confederacy. As 1864 began, the worsening military situation caused Confederate strategies to turn increasingly toward unconventional methods for winning their freedom from the Union. Tucker, on his way to visit his family in South Carolina, wrote a letter on February 16, 1864 to Confederate Secretary of War Joseph Seddon requesting financial help for his boat-burners.[38] (See Appendix B) Tucker referred to a meeting with Seddon the previous December and proposed his boat-burners coordinate their efforts to strike in several places on the same day in the March 1-15 timeframe.

While boats continued to burn in the Mississippi River valley, some of which were certainly the work of Tucker’s crew, there is no evidence a concerted effort was made in the first half of March. The closest incident to the time mentioned confirmed to be the work of Tucker’s group is the destruction of the J. H. Russell, burned by Isaac V. Ayleshire at Plaquemine, LA on March 28, 1864.[39] Ayleshire, an Indiana man, would also be credited by Union authorities with the destruction of the Robert Campbell, Jr. and the City of Madison, both with heavy loss of life.[40]

March of 1864 found Tucker in Richmond with his lieutenant Minor Major, a former member of the Missouri State Guard.[41] They were staying at the Spottswood Hotel, a popular venue for visiting officers and others with official business. Also residing at the Spottswood in this period was another Missouri Confederate, Captain Thomas E. Courtenay. Courtenay had been a prominent businessman in St. Louis before the war, and had served as sheriff for a time in 1860.

Courtenay had been detached in Aug. of 1863 on secret service by an order of General Price, signed by his adjutant, Major Thomas L. Snead.[42] By early 1864 he was in Richmond and building a supply of his hollow cast iron “Courtenay torpedoes”, bombs designed to look like lumps of coal. Filled with explosives and then covered with tar and coal dust, they would be indistinguishable from the real article. Deposited by Tucker’s saboteurs in a coal pile used by Union controlled steamboats, when shoveled into the furnace they would cause a devastating explosion of the boilers, destroying the boat.[43] In a letter from Richmond dated January 19, 1864, Courtenay promises to send some of his torpedoes to a colleague at General Price’s headquarters.[44]

While in Richmond, Tucker lobbied Jefferson Davis directly in a very interesting letter. He described OAK to Davis, claiming nearly 500,000 members in the Order, talked about some of the assistance to the war effort they had provided by their sabotage efforts, and asked for $100,000 for Union property already destroyed (See Appendix C).[45]

There are elements of disingenuousness to Tucker’s letter. In March of 1864 he is finally telling Davis of the existence of a secret and violent organization that he had been in close contact with since early the previous year. Tucker knew Davis trusted neither himself nor Price, and one suspects if the Deacon didn’t need Richmond’s gold to further his schemes he wouldn’t be saying even as much as he did about OAK and its goals. Certainly he was careful to leave Missouri off the list of states proposed for the new Northwest Confederacy he described as the aim of OAK.

Another interesting feature of this letter is Tucker’s reference to two non-steamboat sabotage operations:

“a week ago we burnt $500,000 worth of hay at the Memphis wharf, to embarrass Sherman; not long since Colt’s pistol and gun Factory became an earnest of what can be done”.

The Colt fire, on February 4, 1864, did $2,000,000 in damage to their factory in Hartford, Conn. A report at the time stated “Many believed that it was the work of an incendiary, and among them were some of the most prominent contractors in the concern.”[46] Hartford is certainly a long way from the boat-burners usual haunts in the Mississippi River valley, but Tucker appears to be taking credit for the Colt fire. Union authorities, in piecing together Tucker’s organization from captured correspondence, spy reports and arrested agents who agreed to talk, would later claim a “land operations” section headed by ex-congressman J. Richard Barret of St. Louis.

Two days after Tucker sent this letter to Davis from his Richmond hotel room, Captain Thomas H. Hines of John Hunt Morgan’s Kentucky raiders was dispatched to Canada by order of Secretary of War James A. Seddon. Hines was instructed “In passing through the United States you will confer with the leading persons friendly or attached to the cause of the Confederacy, or who may be advocates of peace, and do all in your power to induce our friends to organize and prepare themselves to render such aid as circumstances may allow. . .”.[47] This is the point traditionally given for the beginning of the Confederate government’s formal involvement in the Northwest Conspiracy.

Certainly Missourians and Kentuckians—the two Confederate states most deeply interested in the success of the Northwest Conspiracy[48]—were prominent in its attempted execution. Hines and John B. Castleman of Kentucky wrote of their involvement, and their participation is better documented than most of the Missourians.[49] But everywhere one looked, there were Missourians—Emile Longuemare, early member of the Missouri State Guard, involved in the attempted burning of New York City by the Confederate secret service;[50] Colonel Vincent Marmaduke, brother of Missouri Confederate General John S. Marmaduke, involved in the attempt to free all of the Confederate prisoners at Camp Douglas in Chicago;[51] James A. Barret, of the powerful St. Louis family, “grand lecturer” of the national OAK/Sons of Liberty, and bagman for their connections to the Confederate secret service;[52] J. Richard “Missouri Dick” Barret of the same family, former congressman from St. Louis, suspected of being “head of land operations” for Tucker’s group;[53] Charles L. Hunt, OAK Supreme Commander for Missouri, one of the most militant of the copperhead leaders;[54] Robert Louden, Price’s courier, delivering Rebel mails in northern states in late ’62 and the first half of ’63; and, of course, Price and Tucker.

The Missouri Confederates recognized they were in the precarious position where the south could “win” and Missouri might very well remain in the Union. Unsurprisingly, this was entirely unacceptable to them. The answer Price, Tucker, and Snead devised was two-pronged: Internal revolution and armed invasion by regular Confederate forces. Tucker’s close contacts with OAK would provide the first, and General Price would provide the second. Price was so insistent he be allowed to invade to “reclaim” Missouri that Governor Reynolds was concerned the general would give up his Confederate commission and “bushwhack it” back in Missouri if he was not allowed to make the effort.[55] The threat worked, and Price received permission to go forward with planning an invasion of Missouri for the summer of 1864.

While all this skullduggery was going on, the Union authorities in Missouri began to realize something unpleasant was brewing. General William S. Rosecrans, who became department commander in January of 1864, had a history of placing a high value on an effective intelligence service.[56] Rosecrans’ new Provost Marshal, J. P. Sanderson, began to infiltrate his agents into OAK. Two of the principal Missouri OAK leaders, Charles L. Hunt and Charles E. Dunn, were arrested and questioned.

The result of these investigations, published in the newspapers in July of 1864, is known as “The Sanderson Report”.[57] Sanderson’s agents claimed OAK had 500,000 members, mostly across the Northwest, that General Price was the military head of the order, that a new invasion of the state by Price was in the offing, and it would be timed to coincide with an internal uprising by OAK. The 500,000 number matches remarkably well with what Deacon Tucker had earlier reported to Jefferson Davis as the membership of the Order as of Dec. 1863. This is hardly surprising, as it was Tucker’s organization Sanderson’s agents had penetrated.

While Sanderson’s agents worked to uncover the conspiracy in Missouri, Governor Oliver Morton and General Henry B. Carrington of Indiana worked to forestall the Order’s activities in that state and Kentucky. Their star spy was Felix G. Stidger of Kentucky who managed to get himself named Grand Secretary of the Order for Kentucky and worked closely with the leaders of both states. On May 9, 1864, Stidger reports that Dr. William A. Bowles, a “General” of the Order for Indiana, disclosed to him the goals of the conspiracy:[58]

He told me that the forces of Indiana and Ohio would concentrate in Kentucky, and make Kentucky their battle-ground, and that the forces of Illinois would proceed to St. Louis, and cooperate with those of Missouri; that Illinois would furnish 50,000 men, Missouri 30,000 men, and that the rebel General Sterling Price would invade Missouri with 20,000 troops, and that with the 100,000 men they could occupy and permanently hold Missouri. . .

Stidger’s work would result in the breaking up of the Order in Indiana and Kentucky, with most of the leaders arrested in August of 1864. Several, including Bowles, would be sentenced to death by a military commission in Indianapolis later that year, but would escape the hangman by presidential intervention. Tucker’s “head of land operations”, Dick Barret, would be listed as one of the co-conspirators in the charges against Harrison H. Dodd of Indiana, Grand Commander of the Order for that state.[59] Dodd did not require presidential clemency, however, as he escaped from custody and fled to Canada during the trial.

Tucker’s organized boat-burners continued to be active as well. On July 15, 1864, six steamboats were destroyed at the St. Louis levee.[60] This was almost certainly the work of the Deacon’s men. His lieutenant, Minor Major, had shown up in Canada not long before to solicit a contribution from the newly-arrived Confederate Commissioners in support of the Tucker group’s activities. He received only $2,000 for his trouble, but it is interesting to note that Commissioner Jacob Thompson reported Major arrived at his doorstep not long after Thompson had reached Canada, showing Tucker’s saboteurs knew just where to go in order to tap Richmond’s gold set aside for the Northwest Conspiracy.[61]

The “land operations” section of Tucker’s crew continued their activities too. On July 2, they burned $800,000 of government medical supplies at Louisville and then headed for Richmond to claim their reward.[62] Once there, they negotiated with Secretary of War Seddon and Secretary of State J. P. Benjamin for remuneration for their sabotage on behalf of the Confederacy. They settled for $50,000. After leaving Richmond, they went to Mobile before re-entering Union lines near Memphis. Tucker’s newspaper, by now renamed the Argus and Crisis, had moved from Jackson to Mobile sometime before, and this side-trip was probably for the purpose of reporting to him the results of the negotiations in Richmond and distributing the money. Tucker had affidavits from all his saboteurs on their strikes at his offices in Mobile, and these were used to distribute reward money.[63]

General Price’s long-awaited invasion to reclaim the state for the Confederates began on September 16, 1864. Price moved slowly north towards St. Louis, then without entering the city, westwards toward Kansas, along the Missouri river bypassing Jefferson City. As Price’s invasion worked its way leisurely through Missouri, OAK finally acted as the Confederates neared St. Louis. Charles L. Hunt’s successor, John H. Taylor, called the membership to arms just as the Sanderson Report had predicted.[64] (See Appendix D)

Taylor told the membership General Price’s invasion had been made at OAK’s invitation, and that Price had been named “major-general to command the members called into the military service”. Taylor promised “at least 20,000 true men” to support Price’s invasion and announced until further notice the headquarters of OAK would be in General Price’s camp. He ended with the Order’s motto, “Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God”, a sentiment Deacon Tucker could support wholeheartedly.

Unfortunately for the Missouri Confederates, it was too little too late. The fall of Atlanta in early September had demoralized the copperheads, making it all too clear the Confederacy was unlikely to survive. Under such circumstances, it is not surprising most of the rank and file copperheads of OAK (those who were needed to do the actual fighting and dying) declined to participate in Price’s invasion. Thousands of southern sympathizers joined him, but OAK had promised—and he expected—tens of thousands.[65] After several weeks in the state—during which Price moved slowly waiting in vain for OAK to swell his ranks—the Missouri Confederates were finally checked bloodily at the battle of Westport near Kansas City on October 23, 1864. Defeated, they turned south for the long march back to Arkansas.

See also Hell and Maria

Invasion may have failed again, but the sabotage would continue. On December 11, 1864, a Cincinnati-owned steamer entered river lore as an epithet for generations of rivermen. Lying at the landing at Carondelet, MO, making moderate steam, Maria’s boilers suddenly exploded. Carrying parts of two Union cavalry regiments at the time, the resulting inferno would kill twenty-five and give rise to “Hell and Maria” as an expletive. A relatively new boat, Maria’s engineer insisted her machinery was working fine just before the blast. The second mate, Andrew Acker, reportedly was “confident he smelled burning powder” at the time of the explosion. Several of the boat’s officers were convinced “that some fiend has placed a shell, or other explosive missive, among the coal used for fuel, which was thrown into the furnace and produced the disaster.” The descriptions of Maria’s demise strongly suggest another successful operation by Tucker’s crew, using one of the coal torpedoes Captain Courtenay had promised to provide them.[66]

The overriding fact of 1864 for the Missouri Confederates was the failure of Price’s invasion. This, coupled with the fall of Atlanta, painted a grim picture for their future. Internal bickering escalated, with Governor Reynolds and General Price trading insults in the press.

As 1865 began, there was a new commander and a new Provost Marshal for the Department of Missouri. Major-General Grenville M. Dodge was named department commander in December 1864. As had been customary during the war, a new commander also meant a new Provost Marshall. Dodge named Col. James H. Baker of Minnesota to the post. Baker began to turn up the heat on Tucker’s boat-burners, and the organization began to unravel. In February, Baker had ten suspected OAK boat-burners in custody, and two of them would agree to talk.[67]

William Murphy voluntarily turned himself in and confessed to being responsible for the burning of the Champion at Memphis in 1863. Murphy named Tucker as the paymaster of the group and admitted to receiving $3,000 from the Deacon for Champion’s destruction.[68] Offered immunity for his cooperation, Murphy told his story and then disappeared.

Edward Frazor was a St. Louis steamboat striker, and the second member of the boat-burners to turn state’s evidence. Frazor told Baker of the Louisville fire and the subsequent trip to Richmond and Mobile. He also admitted to being one of the saboteurs responsible for the St. Louis levee fires in 1863. Murphy and Frazor helped Baker map Tucker’s organization and assign credit for the various acts of sabotage.

See also Provost Marshal J. H. Baker’s report on the Boat-Burners

Baker’s report claimed sixty-one steamboats “owned in Saint Louis” had been destroyed in suspicious circumstances since the beginning of the war. He told his superiors most of them had been destroyed by Tucker’s group “or similar emissaries of the rebel government”. Recent investigations into the matter using sources both contemporaneous and modern have produced a list of approximately one hundred Union-controlled boats destroyed under suspicious circumstances in the Mississippi River valley during the war. Approximately eighty of these were destroyed in 1863 or later.[69] Certainly not all were sabotage, but Baker’s estimate is not unreasonable.

As the Confederacy entered its final days, the Missouri Confederates were amongst the last to give up the fight. Richmond fell on April 3, and General Lee surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox on the 9th, but still the Missourians would not lay down their arms. This was due in part to the belief they would not be allowed to return to their homes in peace.[70]

See also The Boat-Burners

One of those sure he would not be allowed to return to his home in St. Louis was the convicted saboteur, Robert Louden. He had escaped from Union custody while being transferred from Gratiot prison to Alton prison during General Price’s raid the previous October, but a death penalty still hung over him should he ever be captured again. After the war, Louden would claim that on the night of April 26-27 he engineered the most gruesomely spectacular strike any of Tucker’s saboteurs ever attempted. Using another of Thomas Courtenay’s coal torpedoes, Louden said he had snuck aboard the Sultana at Memphis and deposited the bomb in the coal piles near her furnace. Shortly after leaving Memphis, Sultana’s boilers exploded, resulting in the deaths of over 1,700 Union POW’s returning to their homes from southern prison camps.[71]

Jefferson Davis, having escaped from Richmond before its fall, tried to make it to the Trans-Mississippi to continue the fight. Union troops were in hot pursuit of the rebel President- without-a-capital. Dispatched to help in the hunt was the famous detective, Allan Pinkerton. He was also instructed to see if he could track down Tucker, Louden, and their colleagues. Pinkerton reported back to Washington on June 6, 1865 rumors both men were on the move. Circulars were dispatched as far away as California alerting Union authorities to keep a close eye out for them.[72]

In the spirit of retribution gripping the North after the assassination of President Lincoln, the trials of the conspirators were full of accusations against the Confederate government for sponsoring various heinous acts in their desperation to stave off defeat. One of the witnesses was the steamboatman from St. Louis, Edward Frazor. Baker’s newest list of sabotaged steamboats had grown to include Sultana. His organization chart of the boat-burners had President Davis at the top, followed by Secretary of State J. P. Benjamin, Secretary of War Seddon and J. W. Tucker.[73]

While General Sterling Price did not make Baker’s chart, it is simply not credible his surrogate Tucker could have sponsored the group on his own without the General’s knowledge and support. Price loyalists like Louden would not have been involved with something so controversial without the General’s blessing. Sterling Price must go down in history as the boss of Tucker’s saboteurs, even if Richmond was paying most of the bills.

Joseph W. Tucker managed to avoid Pinkerton and the rest of the Union authorities in the spring of 1865, escaping to Bermuda. There he stayed for several years, waiting for Union ire to cool. While in exile, Tucker returned to one of his first loves, serving as superintendent for education of the British colony.[74]

While Tucker found safe haven in Bermuda, most of the Missouri leadership went to Mexico, including General Price and Governor Reynolds. There Reynolds, refusing to let the feud over the failed invasion of 1864 die, wrote a poison pen manuscript entitled General Sterling Price and the Confederacy. In it Reynolds detailed his suspicions about Price and the Northwest Conspiracy, leaning heavily on the doings of Tucker and the relationship between the two men. Reynolds alleged Tucker’s paper was “universally regarded as an ‘organ’ of General Price” and called Tucker himself Price’s “confidential friend”. Reynolds’ main complaint was the conspiracy might result in a Northwest Confederacy, and Price intended Missouri to be a member of it. Reynolds’ claimed such had been the consistent tone and some of the articles in Tucker’s paper during the war.

On Christmas day, 1868, President Andrew Johnson granted an unconditional pardon to all but the highest ranking members of the Confederacy. Shortly thereafter, Tucker and his family returned to the United States. Instead of Missouri, they chose Florida, settling in Sanford.

Tucker made Sanford his home for the rest of his life, taking up his old profession of the law and enjoying the family life that had largely been denied him during the war. He returned to using the old form of his name, “J. Wofford Tucker”, as well. The Deacon remained active in the Methodist church, serving as a delegate to the First Ecumenical Methodist Conference held at London in September of 1881.[75] In 1893, he returned to his native South Carolina for the first time in nearly thirty years, speaking at Wofford College, which he had helped to found forty-two years before.[76]

Joseph Wofford Tucker passed away in Sanford after a full and eventful life.[77] A friend since his boyhood days in South Carolina, Reverend Charles A. Fulwood, eulogized him for The American Illustrated Methodist Magazine in the monthly issue for October of 1901. Fulwood wrote that Tucker had “hoped, prayed and labored to prevent bloodshed and a disruption of the Union”, an assertion which would have elicited howls of derision from the Unionists of St. Louis. On much safer ground historically, Fulwood continued, “but when he saw that the catastrophe was inevitable, he sought to unify the South and at least a portion of the West, so that they might stand together in the conflict.”


Tucker’s War

Appendix A

Ruth 1863/08/04 Cairo, IL Burned Louden. 26 dead. $2.6M Union payroll destroyed.
City of Madison 1863/08/18 Vicksburg, MS Exploded Baker says Isaac Elshire (Ayleshire)
Champion 1863/08/21 Memphis, TN Burned William Murphy. Received $3k from Tucker in reward.
Diuranal 1863/09/12 St. Charles, ARK Burned
Hiawatha 1863/09/13 St. Louis, MO Burned 4 boats burned. OAK
Imperial 1863/09/13 St. Louis, MO Burned
Jesse K. Bell 1863/09/13 St. Louis, MO Burned
Post Boy 1863/09/13 St. Louis, MO Burned
Henry Chouteau 1863/09/26 Columbus, KY Burned
Robert Campbell, JR 1863/09/28 Cairo, IL Burned Approx. 40 dead (Ways 22 dead). Baker says Isaac Elshire received $5k from Tucker.
Catahoula 1863/10/04 St. Louis, MO Burned 3 boats burned. OAK
Chancellor 1863/10/04 St. Louis, MO Burned
Forest Queen 1863/10/04 St. Louis, MO Burned
Sunny Side 1863/11/13 Island 16, Miss. R. Burned “Considerable” loss of life
Science No. 2 1863/12 Portland, KY Burned
Allen Collier 1863/12 Burned
Colonna 1863/12/01 Newburgh, IN Burned
Thomas J. Patten 1864/01/25 Memphis, TN Burned Walker’s Bend
Daniel G. Taylor 1864/02/05 Louisville, KY Burned JAG Joseph Holt says sabotage. One person killed. Frazor says sabotage at Lincoln trial.
Des Arc 1864/03/22 Memphis, TN Burned
J. H. Russell 1864/03/28 Plaquemine, LA Burned Isaac V. Ayleshire. Trial in St. Louis Oct-Nov 1865. Boat formerly “Cherokee”.

Note: The above table is part of a larger spreadsheet prepared by G. E. & D. H. Rule that includes approximately one hundred Union-controlled boats destroyed under suspicious circumstances during the war. It is a work in progress. We have attempted to exclude from the list boats known to be Confederate-controlled, destroyed by regular military action, guerrillas, or other causes clearly inconsistent with sabotage (“snagged and lost” being the most common of these). We have another list of approximately thirty boats that were removed from the original list as we were able to confirm their destruction by means other than sabotage. As an example of this latter, we were beginning to be very curious about a group of boats burned at Johnsonville, TN in early November 1864, until we realized what we were seeing was the result of Hood’s great invasion of Tennessee, and saboteurs had nothing to do with it. Lastly, this table is not meant to suggest there were no boats sabotaged by agents affiliated with Tucker and the Missouri Confederates prior to August of 1863. U.S. Quartermaster Charles Parsons named the E. M. Ryland, October 10, 1861, as the first boat sabotaged, and there are thirty-three boats on our list before the Ruth on August 4, 1863. However, the period shown above contains the highest concentration of steamboats known to be destroyed by Tucker and his saboteurs, and coincides with their receiving official sanction and funding to do so by General Johnston. Activity prior to August of 1863 would have been under the authority of General Price and probably unknown to higher levels of the Confederate hierarchy.

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Tucker’s War

Appendix B

AUGUSTA, GA., February 16, 1864.
Hon. JAMES A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War:

Mr. SEDDON: I beg your permission to write a few words, after the style of a plain, unofficial, but earnest man, writing to a man of practical wisdom. I feel, as intensely as it is possible to feel, the vital necessity of striking hard blows now, and striking at as many points and in as many ways as possible, so as to aid our cause and save our country.

I have perfected my plans and distributed my men, with means improvised for the purpose (since the Government has not as yet paid our force any money), and between the 1st and 15th of March, on the same day, I propose to destroy the enemy’s transports, arsenals, navy-yards, stores, &c., in accordance with the outline of the plan I gave you in December.

I beg that this plan be borne in mind as our link in the chain of testimony in favor of our force. On the same day at all points we mean to strike effectually, so as to exert an influence upon the spring campaign.

Hon. John B. Clark did me the kindness to advise me by letter that the Senate had passed a bill—he did not state its provisions—which might aid in facilitating my plans, which he supposed would also be passed by the House. This led me to conclude it was the bill which you informed me in our latest interview you would propose and submit to the Military Committee, for the purpose of putting this secret service upon a systematic and legal footing, and then would give me those facilities which I asked in some written propositions submitted at your suggestion.

Mr. Seddon, please do me the kindness to take ten minutes of your overtaxed time, and give me the commission or order or direction or authority or recognition which will enable me to prosecute this work vigorously and systematically, and I promise you to render a good account of our labors.

I visit my family for a few days, with whom I have spent one week in two and a half years. I shall be much gratified to receive your orders, and for twenty days to come my address will be Hebron, S. C.

With great respect, &c.,
JOSEPH W. TUCKER.

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Tucker’s War

Appendix C

J. W. Tucker to Jefferson Davis.

(From Confederate Memorial Hall.)

(Spotswood Hotel 14th March, 1864.)

Confidential statements; for the President alone.

1. There exists in the North West and North a secret political organization, having a Lodge in St. Louis with one thousand members.

2. The principles and objects of the organization are, among others, the following:

(1) The preservation of state rights and free representative government; (2) everlasting opposition to Black and Red Republicanism; (3) self-preservation against the unscrupulous and bloody purposes of the war and plunder party of the North; (4) the distinct recognition of the Southern Confederacy, and aideing that government in all practicable ways, because, it is contending for the same rights; (5) the distinct recognition that all the slave states, including Kentucky and Missouri, of right belong to the Confederacy; (6) the formation of a North West Republic including Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio; (7) the institution of the most friendly relations, commercially and otherwise, with the Confederate States; (8) and making open war with the perverted government of the United States, if that become necessary to carry out these objects.

3. That organization numbered, on the 3rd December 1863, Four hundred and ninety thousand men, distributed as follows:

Illinois, ………………………….110,000

Indiana,……………………………120,000

Ohio,……………………………….40,000

Iowa, ………………………………15,000

Pennsylvania,………………………..40,000

New York, …………………………..40,000

New Jersey, …………………………15,000

and other numbers proportionate to population in other states, chiefly in the North West.

4. A deputation, under the authority of the order, was sent to confer with me in Mobile in relation to the destruction of the enemy’s marine service, together with armories, arsenals, depots of stores, etc. etc., as a means of weakening and paralyzing the military strength of the Federal Government. The Order is desirous of thus aideing our cause. In the Lodge in St. Louis there are seventy-two Engineers serving on the Western Waters, by whom we destroyed ten Federal Transports in ten days. But a doubt arose whether our work was prosecuted by the approval of the Confederate Government; and whether the men employed in this perilous service would be compensated by any provision of law, and especially when officers in the marine service were thrown out of employment by the destruction of the vessels on which they were employed.

5. Our future plans, if sanctioned and aided by the Government, embrace the destruction of that transport service upon which Grant must rely in the great coming struggle of the spring campaign; a week ago we burnt $500,000 worth of hey at the Memphis wharf, to embarrass Sherman; not long since Colt’s pistol and gun Factory became an earnest of what can be done. We design to strike a blow on the same day, at many points, that will paralyze the foe. To do this confidence in the countenance and approval of our government must be inspired. To do this an adjustment for work already done must be had. The final agents are often ignorant, and sometimes vicious men. No argument but money will avail with them. If a settlement now be practicable, and a sum of money, say $100,000, of a character of funds current within the Federal lines, greenbacks, or Foreign exchange, can be placed in the hands of Lieut. Gen. Polk, for disbursement, some in advance, and the rest as the work proceeds, I am most confident we shall be able, through this association, to render important and telling service to our government in the ensuing campaign.

We had sent through a young man, Mr. Major, now with me, to make himself a member of the order; this induced the coming of the deputation to confer with me personally, since I was known to very many of its members. No mere stranger can by possibility work through the order, or in connection with it. It is the most perfect and the most secret the world has known. Out of 490,000, only two individuals have ever shown a disposition to betray the secrets of the order; and these two men disappeared mysteriously. I could give more information, but fear prolixity and tediousness. I beg respectfully to commend the subject to the notice of His Excellency the President. I know that by a recent enactment the question of secret service is transferred to the War Department.

But there is an important sense in which the Chief Magistrate of the Republic is the Government; and this ought to be so; since to him attaches the responsibility of failure, and to him pertains the glory of success.

I have the honor to subscribe, with great respect &c.

J. W. TUCKER.

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Tucker’s War

Appendix D

O. A. K.

HEADQUARTERS,
Saint Louis, Mo., October 1, 1864.

To THE MEMBERS OF THE ORDER OF AMERICAN KNIGHTS OF THE STATE OF MISSOURI:

SIR KNIGHTS: Morning dawneth. General Price with at least 20,000 veteran soldiers is now within your State. Through your supreme commander (and with the approbation of the supreme council) you invited him to come to your aid. He was assured that if he came at this time with the requisite force you would co operate and add at least 20,000 true men to his army. He has hearkend to your prayer and is now battling for your deliverance. Sons of Liberty, will you falsify your plighted word? I know you will not. You are strong in numbers—full 30,000 strong—and your influence is potent. It requires but prompt action on the part of the members to insure the ultimate triumph of our cause. As you value your property, your liberties, your lives, and your sacred honor, fail not to give a helping hand in this crisis. Under and by virtue of the authority vested in me by section — of the code of the O. A. K.s, authorizing the appointment of a major-general to command the members called into the military service, I shall appoint that brave and true soldier, Missouri’s favorite son, Maj. Gen. Sterling Price, military commander of the O. A. K.s of the State of Missouri.

All able-bodied men of the O. A. K.s are hereby called upon and required to render military service in behalf of our cause. All true knights will yield prompt obedience to the orders and commands of General Price. Meantime do all possible damage to the enemy. Seize all arms and munitions of war within your power. Take possession of and hold all important places you can, and recruit as rapidly as possible. If you cannot sustain yourselves fall back upon the army of occupation. In townships and counties where you cannot concentrate on account of the presence of the enemy repair singly or in squads without delay to the army, or to points where your brethren may be marshaling their forces, and in all cases be ready to obey the commands of your chieftain and unite with the forces when an opportune moment others. Ye knights, who belong to the militia, a change of government is now impending and you possess peculiar advantages for doing good service, and it is believed you will not fail to act efficiently. You joined the militia that you might the better protect yourselves under Radical rule. Now prepare to strike with the victorious hosts under General Price and aid in the redemption of the State. Already hundreds of militiamen, arms in hands, have taken position beside the brave and gallant soldiers under General Price. In no event permit yourselves to be arrayed against your brethren. I enjoin it upon the district and county commanders and the grand seniors to be vigilant and active in the discharge of their respective duties. Let each one feel that upon him depends the successful issue of this contest, and that it is paramount duty to immediately enter the service. I address you perhaps for the last time. You have honored me and given me your confidence. I have endeavored to merit as I appreciate that consideration. Danger has not deterred me from the discharge of duty, and the period of my intercourse and collaboration with you and brethren of other States I shall ever revert to with feelings of pleasurable emotion. I have rejoiced to note the unanimity of sentiment and earnestness of purpose evinced to put forth every effort, with force of arms if need be, to establish the great principles of liberty and free government and States rights, so soon as the event which is upon us transpired. Brethren, the time for action has come. We must now meet the hosts of the tyrant in the field and sustain our friends and our cause. Be assured I shall buckle on my armor, and I trust I shall greet many thousands of you in the camp of our friends. If we do not sustain General Price, and our cause in consequence fails, all will be lost. We must fight. Honor and patriotism demand it. Then remember your solemn oaths. Remember the sacred obligations resting upon you and resolve, individually and collectively, to do your duty knowing it full well.

Until otherwise ordered headquarters of the O. A. K.s will be hereafter in the army of General Price.

All officers of the O. A. K.s are charged to use the utmost dispatch in communicating this letter to the members. Absence from the city prevented an earlier issue of this communication. Remember our motto: “Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God.”

Given under my hand and seal of the O. A. K.s of the State of Missouri, this 1st day of October, A. D. 1864.

JOHN H. TAYLOR,

Supreme Commander of the State of Missouri.

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[1]Dr. J. B. O. Landrum, History of Spartanburg County, 1900; 1860 St. Louis census; 1880 Florida census; NARA provost marshal records.

[2]Wofford College website, www.wofford.edu. The college’s Board of Trustees is still selected by the state conference of the United Methodist Church. Family genealogy records in Landrum, History of Spartanburg County, suggest that Reverend Wofford was actually J. Wofford Tucker’s paternal great-uncle.

[3]Rev. Charles A. Fulwood, D.D., “The Late Hon. J. Wofford Tucker”, The American Illustrated Methodist Magazine, October, 1901. Fulwood hints that Tucker was a soft touch where money was concerned and may have been taken advantage of in some way. The Spartanburg Female College would eventually fail in 1871, and an email to author from Wofford College archivist R. Phillip Stone suggests that the women’s college’s shaky finances might have had something to do with Tucker’s own financial problems.

[4]Fulwood, “The Late Hon. J. Wofford Tucker”, 1860 St. Louis business directory; “University of Missouri Installation Exercises, Address by J.W. Tucker, Esq., of St. Louis, Member of the Board of Curators, and Response by Benj. A. Minor, A.M., President of the University, Delivered in the Chapel, October 2, 1860”, Columbia, MO., William F. Switzler, Publisher, Statesmen Office, 1860

[5]Galusha Anderson, The Story of a Border City During the Civil War, 1908

[6]James O. Broadhead papers, Missouri Historical Society

[7]Union spy report, James O. Broadhead papers, Missouri Historical Society. Letter from Basil Duke to Thomas L. Snead, Letter from Colton Greene to Thomas L. Snead, Thomas L. Snead papers, Missouri Historical society.

[8]James Peckham, General Nathaniel Lyon and Missouri in 1861, 1866, 165-169. Chris Phillips suggests an alternate scenario for how the news got to the legislature in Missouri’s Confederate, 252-253. Peckham was an Unconditional Unionist member of the assembly for St. Louis at the time, and his account reads like straight first-hand reporting including little details like who was peeking over whose shoulder to read the telegram.

[9]James O. Broadhead papers, Missouri Historical Society; Christopher Phillips, Missouri’s Confederate: Claiborne Jackson and the Creation of Southern Identity in the Border West, 2000, 249. Peckham, Lyon and Missouri, 202.

[10]Phillips, Missouri’s Confederate, 249-250; Thomas L. Snead, The Fight for Missouri, 1886; Civil War researcher Kirby Ross, in an email to author, points out that Tucker published a series of newspapers over the course of the war and had ample opportunity to trumpet any duplicity on the part of Union authorities regarding this letter. One of these, the Missouri Army Argus, was funded by Governor Jackson. While few copies of Tucker’s newspapers have survived, secondary sources would have reported the fact had Tucker ever made the claim.

[11]James O. Broadhead, St. Louis in the Early Days of the War.

[12]James Melvin Lee, History of American Journalism, 1923 revised edition, 301

[13]R. S. Bevier, History of the First and Second Missouri Confederate Brigades 1861-1865, 1879, 76-77, quoting a Tucker editorial in the Missouri Army Argus of Dec. 12, 1861.

[14]Thomas C. Reynolds, General Sterling Price and the Confederacy, unpublished manuscript, Missouri Historical Society

[15]“Another Secret Society”, Missouri Republican, Dec. 29, 1861. “Another” being a reference to the old Knights of the Golden Circle. “The pamphlet itself, judging by the mechanical execution, was printed at Price’s camp, Osceola, and Deacon Tucker has, no doubt, exercised his leisure moments in getting up this infernal society.”

[16]Robert E. Shalhope, Sterling Price: Portrait of a Southerner, 1971, 236

[17]Albert Castel, General Sterling Price and the Civil War in the West, 1993 (reissue of 1968 edition), 63-64, 132-133, 135, 194; Reynolds, Price and the Confederacy.

[18]D. H. Rule, “Sultana: A Case for Sabotage”, North & South, Volume 5 Issue 1; Absalom Grimes, Confederate Mail Runner, 1926

[19]Trial transcript of Robert Louden, NARA

[20]David E. Long, The Jewel of Liberty: Abraham Lincoln’s Re-election and the End of Slavery, 1994 (1997 Da Capo press edition), 43-44

[21]Frank L. Klement, Dark Lanterns, 1984, 66. An account provided by Missouri Confederate secret service agent Emile Longuemare, Mary K. Maule, “A Chapter of Unwritten History”, Western Reserve Historical Society, suggests a birth date for O.A.K. in early 1862. While this would be interesting if true, no other confirmation for such an early date can be found, and I believe it likely that Longuemare, giving his account as an old man, misremembered the year.

[22]

The works of Frank L. Klement, The Copperheads in the Middle West (1960), The Limits of Dissent (1970), Dark Lanterns (1984), and Lincoln’s Critics: The Copperheads of the North (1998) argue that the copperhead societies were really a misunderstood and overestimated “loyal opposition” whose sins were only of the venial and “indiscreet” (a favorite word Klement uses to minimize what he cannot ignore) variety. Before Klement, it was generally understood that the copperheads were dangerous and serious. See Wood Gray, The Hidden Civil War, 1942, for an example of this earlier understanding. Several historians have expressed reservations about Klement’s work, with Long, The Jewel of Liberty offering the strongest and most convincing attack. Two “state-specific” experts who have also demurred on Klement’s findings, at least in their own states, are G. R. Tredway, Democratic Opposition to the Lincoln Administration in Indiana, 1973, and Louis S. Gerteis, Civil War St. Louis, 2001.  Klement touches just briefly on Tucker’s saboteurs in Copperheads in the Middle West, without naming any names or showing any awareness of the ample evidence –Confederate and Union– for their existence and considerable success in burning government steamers and supplies.  He refers to it as “the legend of the boat-burning conspiracy” (pg 204), as if Tucker and his crew had as much historical evidence for their exploits as Robin Hood and his Merry Men..  In Dark Lanterns, Tucker makes the barest of cameos  –without mention in the index– as a Missouri editor who was in favor of the Northwest Confederacy.

[23]“The Scheme of a Northwest Republic”, Missouri Democrat, Aug. 2, 1864

[24]Castel, Sterling Price; Reynolds, Price and the Confederacy

[25]Report of Judge Advocate General Joseph A. Holt, OR S2 V7 pp930-953

[26]Before the war, Price, a former governor of the state, had been a leader of the Pro-Union/Pro-slavery faction of Missouri’s Democracy, and had only reluctantly been moved to the secession side by the Camp Jackson massacre. His near religious faith in the Democracy’s mission to preserve—including slavery—“The Union as it was; the Constitution as it is” would have made him seem a perfect partner for the Peace Democracy of the North. See Shalhope Portrait of a Southerner for a discussion of Price’s fervent belief in the mission of the Democratic Party before the war. It is worth noting, however, that Price’s dedication to a “Northwest Confederacy”, with or without Missouri, is not as well documented as his involvement with figures associated with the “Northwest Conspiracy”, which isn’t quite the same thing. It is possible that Northwestern Democrats saw what they wanted to see in Price’s involvement, or even that Price (or his lieutenants) lead them on. A revolt in the Northwest had significant benefits to the Missouri Confederates whether or not it resulted in a separate Northwest Republic.

[27]The evidence of Snead’s involvement is almost entirely circumstantial and the most speculative element of this article. He did sign the order on behalf of General Price detaching T.E. Courtenay on secret service against Union shipping in the summer of 1863. What it comes down to is an analysis of Snead’s talents and personality and his relationship to Price and Tucker during the war. It is nearly inconceivable that Snead, as Price’s adjutant until May 25, 1864 when he went off to Richmond as a Confederate congressman, could have been kept in the dark on something of this scale. By all reports, Price leaned heavily on Snead, and after the failed invasion of 1864 Snead wrote Price that he never should have left him at such a time. The Northwest Conspiracy was, at its heart, a political operation and Snead had been a political operative before the war. Therefore I believe it likely that he was an active player. See Robert E. Miller, “Proud Confederate: Thomas Lowndes Snead of Missouri”, Missouri Historical Review, Jan. 1985. The Northwest Conspiracy is not touched on in the MHR article, but it does nicely cover Snead’s talents, devotion to Sterling Price, and hostility to Governor Reynolds and Confederate policy vis-à-vis Missouri. Interestingly, even a planned second volume of The Fight for Missouri would have stopped short (Summer of 1862) of the period where Snead would have been required to either go into detail or suppress whatever he knew about the Northwest Conspiracy. So far as is known, Snead never wrote about any of these issues, not even to defend his old hero Price from Governor Reynolds’ accusations on the subject.

[28]Shalhope, Portrait of a Southerner, 237. Shalhope says this letter was reprinted in the Richmond Whig of June 29, 1863. I have not been able to acquire a copy of this letter yet, so I am staying very close to Shalhope’s characterization of it, including the use of “blasted” to describe Tucker’s broadside. Indeed, Shalhope gives a whole paragraph of adjectives and insults against Holmes in describing Tucker’s wrath. Given the pattern of sabotage of Union steamers both before and after this date, and the Deacon’s role in those efforts, the charge of “‘thwarted’ the best efforts of others to do so” (an exact quote from Shalhope) is very suggestive that Tucker was taking Holmes’ obstruction personally.

[29]Trial transcript of Robert Louden, NARA, testimony of prosecution witness C. C. Ferguson, insurance investigator.

[30]Official Records of the War of the Rebellion (OR) Series 1 Volume 24 Part 3 page 1066. Letter is dated January 31, 1864.

[31]It will be noted that Tucker is referred to here as “Judge Tucker”. That “Judge Tucker” and “Deacon Tucker” were indeed the same man can be confirmed from documents both Union and Confederate. See OR S1 V52 P2 p763; OR S1 V48 P2 pp195-197. The former is General Price’s adjutant Maj. Thomas L. Snead noting in a letter to the General from Mobile that “Judge Tucker is here editing the Argus.” The latter is Union Provost Marshal James H. Baker noting the “Judge Tucker” in charge of the boat-burners was formerly editor of the Missouri State Journal. Landrum, History of Spartanburg County notes that J. Wofford Tucker, “entered the special secret service of the Confederate States, in which he remained to the close of the war.” The excellent Come Retribution, William A. Tidwell, James O. Hall, and David W. Gaddy, chapter 7 “Department of Dirty Tricks” provided the epiphany that the “Judge” and the “Deacon” were one and the same. Landrum, History of Spartanburg County, pg 229, claims that Tucker became a judge after moving to Missouri. I have been unable to confirm the details on how Tucker earned the distinction of being addressed as “Judge Tucker”. There is no dating for Tucker’s proposal more specific than Johnston’s “during the siege of Vicksburg” (May 18-July 4, 1863). I believe it would have been shortly after Tucker gave up hope on Holmes allowing anything to be done on the same subject, about the same time as the appearance of his letter in the Mississippian referred to previously.

[32]Charles Parsons (U.S. Quartermaster at St. Louis) papers, Missouri Historical Society

[33]NARA RG 109, M345, roll 170, 171 / RG 94, M797, roll 40; Grimes, Confederate Mail Runner. While Grimes is silent on the purpose of Louden’s trips in northern states, Federal authorities document in at least two instances (Indianapolis and Philadelphia) that he delivered “Rebel mail” while on these trips. If, as I believe, Price, Tucker, and Snead were busy making contact with northern Democrats in this period for the purpose of coordinating with the northern wing of the movement, then these trips by Louden are the most likely conduit for that contact. It is interesting to note that the strongest anti-war protests in Philadelphia during the war occurred immediately after Louden’s visit there in May of 1863.

[34]OR S1 V32 P2 p13

[35]Trial transcript of Robert Louden, NARA

[36]Grimes, Confederate Mail Runner

[37]OR S1 V48 P2 pp194-196; Frederic Way, Jr., Ways Packet Directory, 1848-1994, 78, 223, When talking about saboteurs, I am using “Tucker’s group” and “OAK” interchangeably from the summer of 1863 forward as there is no distinction worth making between the two.

[38]OR, S4 V3 p125

[39]Way, Jr., Way’s Packet Directory, 1993, 231-232

[40]OR S1 V48 P2 pp194-196; J. H. Baker Report on Steamers Burned, Edward Steers, Jr. collection. Ayleshire is alternately spelled as “Elshire” and “Alshire” in some sources, including James H. Baker’s provost marshal reports.

[41]Compiled service records, NARA, RG109 M253

[42]OR S1 V22 P2 pg970

[43]J. Thomas Scharf, History of the Confederate States Navy; “Sultana: A Case for Sabotage”, D. H. Rule, North & South Volume 5 Issue 1. Of course other saboteurs than Tucker’s could use them too, and there are at least two accusations that Courtenay’s torpedoes were used on the east coast as well. See Milton F. Perry, Infernal Machines, 1965

[44]Navy OR S1 V26 pp186-187.

[45]Jefferson Davis, Constitutionalist, Vol. 6 pp 204-206

[46]“The Fire at Colt’s Armory”, New York Times, February 7, 1864, reprinting Hartford Courant of Feb. 5. “Incendiary” at the time would refer both to the device and the man who used it. As given in this article it would be a clear suggestion of sabotage. If Tucker isn’t taking credit for the Colt fire in the Davis letter, then the other reading would be simply pointing out that much good could be done with “land operations” as well, and that his group could do either. The use of “earnest” is interesting in this context as Tucker was a very educated man, and must have known that “earnest” would suggest to Davis that Tucker’s group had done the Colt fire “free of charge” as it were just to prove their capability to do future operations of the same type. Combining the Colt fire reference in the same sentence with the Memphis wharf fire, which he very clearly was taking credit for, makes a claim of credit the most likely reading.

[47]John B. Castleman, Active Service, 1917; James Horan, Confederate Agent, 1954

[48]Kentucky was admitted to the Confederacy on December 10, 1861, but the Kentucky Confederates’ legitimacy to speak for their state was even more tenuous than the Missourians, and their motivation for supporting the Northwest Conspiracy was at least as strong.

[49]Castleman, Active Service

[50]John W. Headley, Confederate Operations in Canada and New York, 1906

[51]Klement, Dark Lanterns; Castleman, Active Service

[52]Castleman, Active Service; Horan, Confederate Agent

[53]Correct spelling seems to be “Barret”, but most records use “Barrett” instead. There is some confusion in the records between the two men and it is often difficult to be sure which of them is being referred to. See Benjamin Perley Poor, editor, The Conspiracy Trial for the Murder of the President, Vol. III, Arno Press reprint, 1972, pp 424-431 where the questioner is clearly trying to lead witness Edward “Frazier” (Frazor) to J. Richard Barret (“Missourian… formerly in congress”), and Frazor seems just as clearly to be answering in relation to James A. Barret (“adjutant-general… Illinois”). It doesn’t help that apparently both men were entitled to be called “Colonel Barret”. Also, James A. Barret is sometimes referred to as being from Illinois instead of Missouri.

[54]Klement, Dark Lanterns, p107

[55]Reynolds, Price and the Confederacy

[56]William B. Feis, Grant’s Secret Service, 2002, 112

[57]OR S2 V7 pp. 228-340

[58]Felix G. Stidger, Treason History of the Sons of Liberty, Formerly Circle of Honor, Succeeded by the Knights of the Golden Circle, Afterwards the Order of American Knights, 1903, reprint edition by Dogwood Press, pg. 37

[59]Ibid pp 144-145; Baker’s report in OR S1 V48 P2 pp194-196

[60]Way, Jr., Ways Packet Directory, entries for Edward F. Dix, Cherokee, Northerner, Glasgow, Sunshine, Welcome. Entry for Sunshine, #5234, notes “dreaded rebel steamboat burners” believed to be responsible. Baker’s report in OR S1 V48 P2 pp194-196

[61]OR S1 V43 P2 pp930-936, report of Confederate commissioner Jacob Thompson. In trying to control the scope of this article, I’ve chosen not to go into the role Thompson, Clement Clay, and J. P. Holcomb played as Confederate commissioners to Canada. See William A. Tidwell, James O. Hall, and David W. Gaddy, Come Retribution: The Confederate Secret Service and the Assassination of Lincoln, 1988 and Headley, Confederate Operations in Canada and New York for more information on their role in the Northwest Conspiracy and Confederate sabotage in the last year of the war.

[62]Burlington Iowa Weekly Hawkeye, Saturday, July 9, 1864, “A great fire occurred in Louisville on Saturday of last week. . .government stores to the value of $800,000, belonging to the Medical Perveyor’s Department. . .” One of Tucker’s saboteurs, Edward Frazor, would refer to this as a “hospital fire”, crediting the saboteur as a man named Henry Dillingham. Frazor also said that no one was killed, which seems incredible when considering all the immobile individuals in a war-time hospital at all hours of the day. Felix Stidger, in his Treason History, refers to a “warehouses” fire destroying government supplies at Louisville in July of 1864, but says nothing about a hospital fire that would have been equally interesting to Stidger. The Hawkeye article unscrews the inscrutable. These two seemingly separate incidents are really the same single incident; Frazor’s “hospital” was really a large store of medical supplies stored in government warehouses.

[63]OR S1 V48 P2 pp194-196; RG109 M345 roll 97

[64]OR S1 V41 P3, pp975-976

[65]Shalhope, Portrait of a Southerner, 266-267

[66]“Destruction of Steamer Maria”, Missouri Republican, Dec. 12, 1864

[67]OR S1 V48 P2 pp194-196

[68]Charles Parsons papers, Missouri Historical Society. There is some dispute about just how much “immunity” Murphy received from Baker in early 1865. Murphy was later captured and tried for his boat-burning activities.

[69]D. H. Rule & G. E. Rule papers

[70]J. M. Bundy, “The Last Chapter in the History of the War”, Galaxy, 1870

[71]D. H. Rule, “Sultana: A Case for Sabotage”, North and South, Vol. 5, Issue 1, December, 2001; “Blew up the Sultana”, Missouri Democrat, May 6, 1888. Louden’s claim is a matter of some dispute. See our Sultana section for more information and documentation.

[72]NARA, RG 109, M345, roll 270, Provost Marshal’s file on Joseph W. Tucker, report of Allen Pinkerton dated June 6, 1865 from New Orleans.

[73]Edward Steers, Jr., “Terror 1860’s Style”, North & South, Volume 5 Issue 4; Baker list of steamers sabotaged, Edward Steers, Jr. collection.

[74]Fulwood, “The Late Hon. J. Wofford Tucker”

[75]Landrum, History of Spartanburg County, pg 229, says after the war he was “lay delegate to the great Ecumenical Conference held in London”. E-mail to author from R. Phillip Stone, Wofford College archivist, identifies this as being a reference to the First Ecumenical Methodist Conference at London in September of 1881. Nolan B. Harmon, editor, “Methodist Conferences”, The Encyclopedia of World Methodism, Volume II.

[76]Fulwood, “The Late Hon. J. Wofford Tucker”; Atlanta Constitution, June 15, 1893

[77]Tucker died in 1897 and is buried in Lakeview Cemetery, Sanford, FL. American Illustrated Methodist Magazine eulogized him in Oct. 1901, including a picture captioned “on the day of his death”. Unfortunately, the article does not state what day, or even year, that was. Landrum, History of Spartanburg County, which was published in 1900, pg 201-202, has this to say about Tucker’s wife Emily, “Emily Augusta [Tucker, nee Barry], born 1824; died 1898” and “…died in Sanford, Florida, her husband having preceded her a short time.” Sanford Historic Trust cemetery search website, at http://www.sanfordhistorictrust.org/cemeterysearch.html confirms Landrum’s account for both Joseph Wofford Tucker and Emily Augusta Tucker.

John Brooks Henderson Author of 13th Amendment

JOHN BROOKS HENDERSON

Author of The Thirteenth Amendment Abolishing

Slavery in the United States

introduced and transcribed by Kirby Ross

Introduction by Kirby Ross:

Contemporary historians of Civil War Missouri have long been generally preoccupied with telling the stories of the same individuals and events over and over again.  Overlooked in the process have been key Missouri war-era figures, some of whom achieved greatness not only in the state, but also in the nation as a whole.  One such person was Pike County’s John B. Henderson, whose actions in the 1860s continue to reverberate into the 21st century.

Born in 1826 and orphaned before he was ten years old, Henderson was “bound out” to a farmer until his eighteenth birthday.  Enduring first-hand a life of involuntary servitude under a master, he overcame his circumstances and as he grew to maturity taught himself the law.  By the time he was age 20 he was a practicing attorney and by age 22 a state legislator.  In the course of the next dozen years Henderson served another term in the General Assembly, was appointed state court judge as well as inspector general and colonel of militia, and amassed a personal fortune, primarily in the speculation of land but also through banking and road construction interests.  He played a major role on the side of the Union during the Rebellion and was credited by Thomas L. Snead, one Missouri’s foremost Confederates, as being “the most conspicuous opponent of Secession” that Missouri produced.  Henderson’s actions in the final days of the conflict and the months immediately thereafter prompted one of his peers to admit “I envy him that fame which couples his name” regarding his most important achievement, and caused a politician by the name of John F. Kennedy to use words such as “high courage,” “sense of honor,” and “integrity,” in discussing him almost 100 years later.

Despite this, Henderson has been strangely forgotten, as has his role in authoring and shepherding through Congress the most important addition to the United States Constitution in the past 200 years.

Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as

a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have

been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States,

or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

Prior to Henderson’s writing of these words Abraham Lincoln had issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which acted to free slaves in Confederate-held areas but left those in United States controlled areas in bondage.  Not being enforceable where it was in effect, the intent of the Emancipation Proclamation was essentially moral.  It was also intended to prepare the country for what was to come.  That what was to come soon emerged from John Brooks Henderson of Pike County, Missouri.  And while Lincoln’s profound words in his Proclamation electrified a nation, Henderson’s words did something that Lincoln’s did not.

Henderson’s words freed a race.


The following biographical profile of Henderson was written by Floyd C. Shoemaker (1886-1972) and first appeared in his 1918 book, Missouri’s Hall of Fame: Lives of Eminent Missourians.  Shoemaker was the head of the State Historical Society of Missouri from 1915 through 1960.  In the course of his tenure at that institution he oversaw the publishing of 45 volumes of the Missouri Historical Review, edited an ongoing series of newspaper articles entitled “This Week in Missouri History,” and wrote, edited, or supervised the creation of over 90 other historical publications.


JOHN BROOKS HENDERSON

Author of The Thirteenth Amendment Abolishing

Slavery in the United States

by Floyd C. Shoemaker

Transcribed and submitted by Kirby Ross

From Missouri’s Hall of Fame: Lives of Eminent Missourians, 1918

From orphan to statesman is the career of some of America’s greatest men.  This country is the land of opportunity.  To him who labors and studies with care, greater prospects of success are found in the United States than in any other nation.  Here men are given a chance.  If they fail it is usually their own fault.  Among those who took advantage of their opportunity, is John Brooks Henderson—lawyer and statesman.

Born in Virginia on November 16, 1826, John Brooks Henderson came of southern parentage.  His father and mother moved to Missouri in 1832 and both died before John was ten years old.  They left him small means with which to educate himself.  He attended the common schools of Lincoln county, Missouri, and was a good student.  He earned his first money teaching school, but his ambition was to be a lawyer.

He was admitted to the bar in 1848 and began his practice of law in Louisiana, Missouri, the following year.  He lived in Louisiana until 1861 and built up a fine law practice.

At the early age of twenty-one years he was elected to represent Pike county in the Missouri Legislature and was again elected in 1856.  In 1860 he was a candidate for Congress but was defeated by the more experienced and older politician, James S. Rollins.

Up to this time John Brooks Henderson had been a Democrat.  Altho born and reared in the South, he opposed slavery.  At the outbreak of the Civil War he became a Republican and gave his services to the Union.  He was elected to the Missouri State Convention in St. Louis in 1861 and was one of the leading Unionists in that body.  The same year he was appointed brigadier-general in the Missouri Militia and labored for the Union cause in the five Northeast Missouri counties in his district.  He was appointed United States Senator in 1862 and was elected to that body from Missouri in 1863.  His term expired on March 4, 1869, when he was succeeded by that other well known and patriotic statesman, Carl Schurz.

On retiring from the Senate he made his home in St. Louis.  In 1872 he was a candidate for Governor of Missouri, but being a Republican, was defeated.  He was also defeated in 1872 for the office of United States Senator from Missouri.  He served as Assistant United States District Attorney in 1875 by appointment of President Grant, and in 1884 was president of the National Republican Convention.

He retired from the practice of law in 1887 and the following year moved to Washington, D.C., where he lived until his death on April 12, 1913.  While he lived in Washington he held several honorary positions and was a favorite in social circles in his advanced age.

As a lawyer, Senator Henderson was one of the ablest and most widely known members of the Missouri Bar.  He was successful, able and honest.  He always charged a client a high fee, having begun this practice as a young man.  He regarded his services as valuable and he impressed this point on people by his charge.  They were few, however, who criticized this practice, because his clients knew that they could rely upon him.  Altho his opponents were frequently of the highest ability, he was their equal in the courts of the land.  He always studied a case thoroly, read all the books and records bearing on it, and then usually obtained a verdict in his favor.  He was not a good jury lawyer and did not enjoy trying to arouse sympathy or enthusiasm by appeals of oratory.  He was not an orator but a cool logical speaker.  He did not move men by humor and pathos but by facts.  This is one reason why he confined his practice to the higher courts, where logic and not sympathy is supreme.

Successful as he was as a lawyer, Senator Henderson will live in history as a statesman.  There is this similarity, however, between his career as a lawyer and as a statesman—he always influenced his fellow-men by statements of facts, and was always guided by principles of honesty.  Altho his services to the state and nation as a statesman were performed during a period of only eleven years, they left a permanent impression on the laws of this country.  He served two terms in the Legislature of Missouri and during these four years he was active in framing railroad and banking laws for the state, some of which are the foundations of our present system of laws on these subjects.

His career as a United States Senator, covering seven years, would fill a volume if all were written.  He was one of the leaders in the United States Senate and was a member of a number of important committees.  He was instrumental in having adopted the general policy of making peace treaties with the Indian tribes over the nation.  He was also able to have the National Government reimburse the State of Missouri for war expenditures.  His most conspicuous piece of legislation was the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution abolishing slavery in this country.  Senator Henderson wrote this amendment and introduced it in the United States Senate.

He was also one of the advocates of the clause in the Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which stated that the right to vote should not be denied on account of race, color, or previous conditions of servitude.

Perhaps his most unpopular act as a statesman was when he voted for the acquittal of President Andrew Johnson on the impeachment charges which had been preferred against him.  Henderson voted for his acquittal and Johnson was not convicted.  This act of Henderson’s cost him re-election to the United States Senate and ended his public career in Missouri.  History, however, has endorsed the unpopular stand that was taken by Missouri’s United States Senator.

John Brooks Henderson does not rank with the greatest men Missouri has produced.  His career as a public man was short.  His influence on political conditions in Missouri was short lived.  Belonging to the opposite political party in control in Missouri, his opportunity for service was limited.  His removal to Washington D.C., ended his public career.  During these few years, however, he achieved much.  As the author of the Thirteenth Amendment alone his name will be remembered.  To this single distinction will be added his patriotic stand for the Union in 1861, his leadership in the United States Senate on many public questions, and his high position as a lawyer in Missouri.

Pike county, Missouri has been the home of many eminent men and not least of these is John Brooks Henderson.

James O Broadhead by Kirby Ross

Posted December 6, 2002

Autobiography of Samuel S. Hildebrand
by Kirby Ross, Samuel S. Hildebrand, James W. Evans, A. Wendell Keith

available at Amazon.com

The True Life Wild West Memoir of a Bush-Popping Cow Waddy

By Charley Hester, Edited by Kirby Ross

available for pre-order at Amazon.com

Civil War St. Louis contributing author Kirby Ross published in North & South magazine, Vol 6, issue 7

The Burning of Doniphan by Kirby Ross

(Vol 6, Issue 7 of North & South mails to subscribers October 21st; on sale in stores November 11th)

JAMES O. BROADHEAD

ARDENT UNIONIST, UNREPENTANT SLAVEHOLDER

by Kirby Ross

While serious students of Missouri Civil War history readily recognize the name James O. Broadhead, it is usually in regard to his seven-month tenure as Provost Marshal General of the Department of the Missouri.  His prior very key role in holding Missouri in the Union is otherwise generally overlooked and he himself forgotten—this even though it was once said of him “his powers were almost absolute.”1 Despite his leading position among Missouri Unionists, he was a proud Southerner and well into the Civil War continued to cling to the notion that slavery should be preserved.  As a slaveholder at the dawn of hostilities he once proclaimed, “I am willing to go as far as any living man to protect the institution of slavery in the State of Missouri.  I have no prejudice against the institution.  I have been raised with the institution, and I know something of it.”2 Even as he was being assigned in 1863 to the position of Provost Marshal General—a military command that encompassed Missouri, Arkansas, Indian Territory, Kansas, and southern Iowa—he maintained this mind-set and was reported to have gone so far as to assert that “every damned Abolitionist in the country should be hung.”3

Despite these extreme sentiments and the fact he grew up in Virginia, few men doubted Broadhead’s loyalty to the Union as the war found its way to Missouri.  After the Rebellion was over an ex-Confederate Congressman referred to Broadhead as having been “a trusted counsellor of Mr. Lincoln.”  And an observer on the other side of the conflict later noted, “No man…was more stalwart in his Unionism, or took a more active part when war came, in supporting the Federal Government than did James O. Broadhead.”4

For those that might be unsure about his priorities Broadhead explained, “I am a slave owner myself, but I am not willing to sacrifice other interests to the slave interest….”  Emphasizing the nature of the interests he was willing to place over and above his slave interests, Broadhead also offered words that familiarly echoed ones once uttered by his more famous cousin, Patrick Henry: “Who would not be willing to meet these calamities to preserve the Union and Missouri in the Union and secure to ourselves and our posterity such a destiny as most assuredly awaits us.  That man who does not know when to die is not fit to live; and what better time to offer up our lives than in behalf of such a cause?”5

To understand the paradox of Broadhead, one must look far back into his ancestry and his birthplace.  “Born at the South,” Broadhead once said, “I think I know something of my duty to the South as well as to the Constitution of my country.”  As a native son of Charlottesville, Virginia, it was said by one of his contemporaries that he “imbibed in his youth and early manhood the spirit which actuated the fathers of the Republic.”  Another acquaintance made a similar observation in noting that Broadhead “grew to manhood in an atmosphere created by eminent statesmen and permeated by a love of country, a patriotic devotion to public duty, and a full recognition of the obligation which rests upon the citizen.”6

This “spirit” and “atmosphere” created by eminent statesmen radiated from Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe, who also hailed from Charlottesville.  Furthermore, not only was Broadhead a cousin of Patrick Henry but also of Dolley Madison.  In his formative years he was a frequent guest in her house where the host of the manor was James Madison, the “Father of the U.S. Constitution.”  Young James Broadhead’s “personal acquaintance and relations with ex-President Madison served to foster still further these virtues” of love of country and patriotic devotion to it.7

Broadhead’s ties to the Founding Fathers ran deeper still, however.  His father Achilles Broadhead was commissioned by Thomas Jefferson to survey the grounds that became the University of Virginia.8 In an even more powerful connection to Jefferson, Dabney Carr, the brother of James’s grandfather Garland Carr, was the beloved childhood friend of Jefferson.  This relationship ultimately evolved from friendship to kinship upon the marriage of Broadhead’s Uncle Dabney to Martha Jefferson, the third President’s sister.  When Dabney died he was the first person to be laid to rest in the new burial grounds of Monticello.  Jefferson interred the body so it would one day be directly at his own side and then placed a headstone over Dabney’s remains that contained the inscription “To His Virtue, Good Sense, Learning and Friendship this stone is dedicated by Thomas Jefferson, who of all men living loved him most.”  After the burial, Jefferson took the Carr children into his household and raised them as his own.9

Completing the atmosphere that so-compelled slaveholder James Overton Broadhead to fight for the very cause that ultimately resulted in the extinction of the “peculiar institution,” Broadhead was also distantly related by marriage to Martha Washington and Mary Todd Lincoln.10


Having completed studies in Red Hills at the classical school of his uncle, Dr. Francis Carr, Broadhead thereafter entered the University of Virginia in 1836 at age 16.  When in 1837 most of his immediate family removed to St. Charles County, Missouri, James remained behind and taught at a private school near Baltimore before joining them out west a year later.  Upon his arrival the scholarly aristocrat joined the employ of the Hon. Edward Bates as a tutor for his children.11

Bates, a prominent attorney as well as nationally recognized Whig politician, reversed roles and soon took Broadhead on as student of his own in the study of law.  By 1842 Broadhead was licensed as an attorney and had moved to Pike County.  Within three more years Broadhead was following in his mentor’s footsteps and was active in state politics as a Whig.  At the age of 26 he was elected to be a delegate to Missouri’s second constitutional convention.  The following year he was sent by Pike County to the state house of representatives, and four years afterward to the state senate.12

Shortly before the Civil War began, Broadhead moved from Pike to St. Louis where he entered into a law partnership with Fidelio C. Sharp, an affiliation that by 1873 grew into “the largest legal practice of any firm, not only in Missouri, but in the West.”13 Then in 1860 Edward Bates, now a Republican, was a candidate for the presidency of the United States.  Strongly backed by newspaperman Horace Greeley, Bates was thought in some quarters to have a good chance at gaining the party nomination.  Instead, Abraham Lincoln was chosen to be the standard-bearer but promptly appointed Bates to be his Attorney General after the general election.14

Broadhead’s own politics began to evolve around this time, although he remained committed to the institution of slavery.  Shortly after the election he admitted, “it is true I voted for Lincoln—and yet I am not exactly a Republican, certainly not a Black Republican….”  Asserting “Lincoln is himself an honest man and a patriot,” Broadhead attributed his support of the Illinoisan to be a consequence of Lincoln’s pro-business economic platform and his advocacy for a strong government, as well as his Free-soil stance that would leave slavery alone where it existed (the Emancipation Proclamation was still far off and unforeseen).  Broadhead did state abhorrence for the fringe groups of the Party—the Red Republicans (labor agitators) and the “fanatical” Black Republicans (Abolitionists), a body that he claimed “is the smallest class.”  All a very interesting perspective given that the Republican Party of 1860 that Broadhead was involved in and spoke of is now seen in a significantly different light in the hindsight of modern times and through the intervening prism of the American Civil War.15

After moving to St. Louis Broadhead began to associate closely with U.S. Congressman Frank Blair, who was a leading opponent of secession in Missouri.  As early as 1859 Blair urged Broadhead to run for the Missouri Supreme Court and advised him he could help deliver at least 10,000 votes.  Although this entreaty was not accepted, Broadhead’s relationship with Blair continued to expand and ultimately developed to the point where “Broadhead was his right hand, his chief lieutenant.”  So close were the two that one day Blair would ask Broadhead to give the nominating speech at a national convention when he ran for President.  Broadhead would also serve as his pallbearer several years after that.16

As Blair rallied his supporters, in February 1861 he was instrumental in forming the Committee of Safety, whose “purpose was to serve as the executive committee of the Union party.”  Besides Blair, five other men were selected for the Committee, and among their ranks was James Broadhead, who was appointed secretary of the group.  Under the auspices of this organization an armed force of Loyalists was recruited in the city and within a short time several regiments were mobilized.17

A couple of weeks after he joined the Committee of Safety, running on a campaign slogan of “the Union at any cost” Broadhead was also elected to serve as a delegate to the State Convention assembled to decide the question of whether Missouri should secede from the Union.18 As a leader of the Unconditional Unionist, on March 14, 1861, he addressed the group.  By now Broadhead was also a proponent of the belief that secession would result in economic disaster for the state.  Furthermore, should Missouri leave the Union the Fugitive Slave Act would be abrogated—an act that legally required free states to assist in the return of escaped slaves to their owners.  Surrounded on three sides by what would be a foreign country if the secessionists were successful, slaves in Missouri would readily find freedom in Kansas, Iowa, and Illinois after secession just as easily as if they made their way all the way to Canada before secession.19

In his address to the Convention Broadhead observed that Missouri stood directly along the route between the eastern United States and western United States.  He stated that “efforts have been made for the purpose of connecting the Atlantic with the Pacific Ocean, by means of a railroad, in order that the wealth of the Indies may be poured into the lap of this country of ours.  And Missouri stands in the pathway of nations; over her soil this pathway must run, just as inevitably as fate.  And do you suppose that the accumulated interest of the East and the West, and I may say the world, will ever submit to have an interdict placed upon that pathway?”  In dramatic fashion Broadhead was arguing that even if the Deep South were allowed to remove itself from the Union, geographic positioning made Missouri different than those states.  Consequently, as Broadhead opined, “I say, then, gentlemen of the Convention, that Missouri cannot go out of the Union if she would; and I think I know what I say when I speak it, that she has not the power to go out of the Union if she would.”20

Several weeks after the March session of the Convention concluded, Abraham Lincoln issued orders that effectively federalized the paramilitary forces raised by the Committee of Safety, thus allowing them to operate under color of authority as U.S. Volunteers.  Now permitted to recruit up to 10,000 troops, additional loyal citizens of St. Louis were brought into another umbrella organization known as the United States Reserve Corps.  Thomas William Sweeny of the Regular Army was placed in command of the five regiments of the Reserve Corps, with James Broadhead assigned to his staff at the rank of major.21

The President also issued orders for the U.S. military in St. Louis to consult closely with the Committee of Safety and to go so far as to proclaim martial law in the city if deemed necessary by the members of the Committee.  Lincoln specifically referred to Broadhead by name in this order.22 One historian later elaborated on the extraordinary influence of the Safety Committee—“Into its hands was given absolute authority in all matters concerning the Union cause in St. Louis….  The Committee became the central medium of advice, information, and direction of the Union activities of the City, and a little later, throughout the State of Missouri.”23

The Committee was not lax in exercising its considerable power in the course of the compulsory military consultations.  When the U.S. general commanding in Missouri, William S. Harney, did not act according to their desires the Committee petitioned Washington and saw to it that he was removed and replaced by Nathaniel Lyon, a much more aggressive officer.24

With Federal authorities concerned about the creation of the Southern-sympathizing Camp Jackson on the outskirts of St. Louis in early May, Lyon asked leave of the Committee for permission to close it down.  Upon receiving their acquiescence, with Secretary Broadhead voting guardedly in favor of the plan, on May 10 Lyon surrounded the military encampment and took its occupants prisoner.  Marching them through the streets of St. Louis, a crowd began to gather along the route.  In the course of events one shot was fired, then another, and very quickly a general maelstrom swept across the area.  When the smoke cleared at least twenty-eight men had lost their lives and many more were wounded.25

While not commenting on the deaths that resulted from this affair, Broadhead did discern a marked shift in the balance of power in the city that resulted from the dispersal of the camp.  Writing to an acquaintance eleven days later Broadhead said the action “operated like a poultice—the inflammation has been drawn out of the great numbers of men [in St. Louis] who were heretofore rampant secessionists.”26

With events happening very quickly in Missouri, Broadhead expanded his Union-supporting activities.  Simultaneous to his service as a major in the Reserve Corps and delegate to the State Convention, he was also appointed by Bates to serve as Assistant United States Attorney.  In that latter position Broadhead was party to a decision made in concert with Attorney General Bates to pursue prosecutions for treason, but only in extreme cases and only when the chances of a conviction were certain.  The treason card was not to be played precipitately.27 One case Broadhead did bring forward—in fact it was the first treason indictment he drew up—was against Governor Claiborne F. Jackson.  This charge was the consequence of a search warrant Broadhead executed that resulted in the seizure of a letter written by Jackson on April 28, 1861, that spoke freely about plans for taking Missouri out of the Union.  Writing a confidential communication to a friend, on May 21 Broadhead discussed the development:  “we have a warrant out for Jackson for treason, but it will not be served yet—perhaps not at all—if he makes the proper settlement.”  (This may very well mark the only time in United States history that a sitting governor has been indicted for treason.)28

A settlement to Broadhead’s liking remained elusive as the situation deteriorated further over the next few weeks.  All finally came to a climax on June 11 in a meeting at the Planter’s House in St. Louis between General Lyon, Governor Jackson, and Jackson’s head of militia, General Sterling Price.  When the negotiations reached an impasse, Lyon rose to his feet and angrily exited the room thundering “This means war!” on his way out.  Whether Broadhead was now ready to serve his warrant is unknown, since Jackson and Price immediately returned to the capital at Jefferson City, gathered their allies, packed the state records, and promptly proceeded on a journey west and then south that saw a large part of the elected Missouri government spend the remainder of the war in exile.29

Afterward, the State Convention reassembled to address the absence of a governing body in Jefferson City.  James Broadhead was appointed chair of a committee formed to consider the status of the state government and to recommend a course of action regarding it.  Broadhead seized upon language the now-absent Governor and General Assembly (legislature) had given force of law when they enacted the bill that created the Convention.  Passed by a very overwhelming margin of 30-2 in the senate and 105-8 in the house of representatives, Section 5 of that statute specifically gave the Convention delegates the power “to adopt such measures for vindicating the sovereignty of the State and the protection of its institutions as shall appear to them to be demanded.”30 Wrote Broadhead on the authority granted, “If the Convention is to be limited in its action by the provisions of the act of the General Assembly, it is difficult to perceive how language could have been used which would have vested it with greater powers.”31

In taking full advantage of the legislature’s legal authorization allowing the Convention to adopt measures that appeared to be needed to protect the state’s institutions, Broadhead issued a report that recommended, among other things, that the offices of governor and lieutenant governor be declared vacated, as well as the General Assembly.  This recommendation was ultimately accepted by a two to one margin by the whole of the Convention, which then promptly appointed Edward Bates’ brother-in-law Hamilton Gamble to fill the position of Provisional Governor.  The Convention thereupon proceeded to act as a legislative body until new elections could be held.32

So went James Broadhead’s very major and very forgotten actions in those first days and weeks of the war in Missouri.  Thirteen years after the close of hostilities one writer summed up his role by stating, “looking back at the critical condition of the government in the early part of 1861, the importance of these prompt proceedings assume immense proportions.  What Mr. Broadhead accomplished in the preservation of the Union . . . can never be fully estimated.33

His activities that followed, important though they might have been in the scheme of events, were almost anti-climactic compared to what had preceded them.  Broadhead spent 1862 serving on the military staff of Provisional Governor Gamble as Judge Advocate General, at the rank of colonel.  He also continued in the employ of Edward Bates where he received a promotion from Assistant U.S. Attorney to U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri, where he served from November 1861 through August 1862.34

The following year he was commissioned lieutenant colonel of the Third Missouri State Militia Cavalry Regiment, a Pike County unit.  He was then detached from the regiment and assigned to the post of Provost Marshal General for the Department of the Missouri from June 1863 through January 1864.  In this position he ironically wielded far more power than his commanding officer in the Third M.S.M. (who happened to be Edward Bates’ cousin and law partner).  While his wife’s brothers—John and Caleb Dorsey of Pike County—and their Confederate activities occasionally bedeviled him in his position as PMG, his Conservative Unionist policies offered relative moderation towards the non-combatant slaveholding and Southern-oriented citizenry of the state, as well as extreme aggravation to his Radical Unionist political opponents that desired sterner action on his part.35

After the war Broadhead continued his association with Frank Blair, and together they pursued an effort to repeal the onerous restrictions placed upon ex-Confederates in Missouri.  It was said of Broadhead “he had taken a bold stand against the provisions of the Drake Constitution, which not only destroyed the citizenship, but prevented many from pursuing their vocations as a means of earning their daily bread.  He was equally outspoken in denouncing the reconstruction acts of Congress as revolutionary.”36 In 1868 and 1872 he was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention and in 1875 played a leading role in the Missouri Constitutional Convention.  The following year he was appointed special counsel for the U.S. Attorney’s office in St. Louis and assisted in the prosecution of the so-called “Whisky Ring”—a scandal that reached directly into the White House.  That same year he was the Missouri delegation’s favorite son choice for President of the United States at the Democratic National Convention.  Two years later he helped found the American Bar Association and was elected to be that organization’s first president.37

In 1882 Broadhead successfully ran for the United States Congress, and, after serving one term, was appointed a special claims commissioner by Grover Cleveland.  Broadhead spent his sunset years as Minister to Switzerland from 1893 through 1897.  Finally retiring at the age of 78 years old, he returned home to St. Louis where he passed away on August 7, 1898.38

© 2002 by Kirby Ross

All Rights Reserved


1In Memoriam. James Overton Broadhead (St. Louis: Legal Publishing Company 1899) 42

2Samuel B. Harding, “Missouri Party Struggles in the Civil War Period,” American Historical Association Annual Report For the Year 1900 I (Washington D.C.: Government Printing Office 1901) 93; Journal and Proceedings of the Missouri State Convention, March 1861 (St. Louis: George Knapp & Co., Printers and Binders 1861) 122.

3St. Louis Democrat, 2 June 1863, p. 1; St. Louis Democrat, 10 June 1863, p. 1.  See also The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies (Washington, 1880-1901) Ser. 1, Vol. LIII, p. 582 (hereinafter cited as Official Records).  The Democrat was a Radical Unionist newspaper very strongly opposed to the appointment of Conservative Unionist Broadhead as PMG.  The Official Records correspondence was a direct reflection of that newspaper’s reporting.  Whether Broadhead actually said these particular words is problematic and thus far no definitive support has been located elsewhere.

4Harding, 93; Thomas L. Snead, The Fight For Missouri (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons 1886) 88

5Missouri State Convention, March 1861, 122-123; In Memoriam, 41-42.  For Broadhead’s relationship to Patrick Henry, see Howard L. Conard and William Hyde, eds., Encyclopedia of the History of St. Louis I (New York: The Southern History Company 1899) 241; Garland Carr Broadhead, “Carrs, Winstons and Barretts,” The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography (April 1898) 442; Garland Carr Broadhead, “The Family of Achilles Broadhead,” The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography (October 1895) 212; Garland Carr Broadhead, “Carr Family,” The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography (October 1895) 208-211; Garland Carr Broadhead “Carr Family,” The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography (April 1898) 440-441.  Robert Douthat Meade, Patrick Henry: Patriot in the Making (Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott Company 1957) 23, 40, 53, 64, 65; Henry Mayer, A Son of Thunder: Patrick Henry and the American Republic (New York: Franklin Watts 1986) 24, 40, 47.  Patrick Henry was the grandson of Isaac Winston and Mary Dabney Winston, making him the first cousin of Broadhead’s maternal grandmother Mary Winston Carr.

6Conard and Hyde, 241; In Memoriam, 13, 30, 84; Missouri State Convention, March 1861, 122

7Conard and Hyde, 241; In Memoriam, 13, 84.  See also, Katharine Anthony, Dolly Madison: Her Life and Times (New York: Doubleday & Company Inc. 1949) 5; Ralph Ketcham, James Madison: A Biography (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia 1990) 376-377.  Like Patrick Henry and James Broadhead, Dolley Madison was a direct descendant of Isaac Winston and Mary Dabney Winston.  Broadhead’s great-grandfather, Colonel William “Langloo” Winston, was a brother of Lucy Winston Coles, Dolley Madison’s grandmother.  See, “Carrs, Winstons and Barretts”; “The Family of Achilles Broadhead”; “Carr Family” Oct. 1895; “Carr Family” Apr. 1898.

8Plat of Land (A. Broadhead), 15 Nov. 1825, Accession #RG-5/3/1.002, Special Collections Dept., University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Va.

9Rev. Edgar Woods, Albemarle County in Virginia (Charlottesville: The Michie Company 1901) 160-161; “Carrs, Winstons and Barretts”; “The Family of Achilles Broadhead”; “Carr Family” Oct. 1895; “Carr Family” Apr. 1898; Thomas Fleming, The Man From Monticello (New York: William Morrow and Company 1969) 8, 12, 22-23; William Howard Adams, Jefferson’s Monticello (New York: Abbeville Press 1983) 259; Willard Sterne Randall, Thomas Jefferson: A Life (New York: Henry Holt and Company 1993) 90, 176

10See Conard and Hyde, 386; “Carrs, Winstons and Barretts”; Mark Freeman, 20 Mar. 2002, “Thomas Carr of Caroline and Louisa Co., Va.,” http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~markfreeman/carr_lou.html

11In Memoriam, 21; William E. Parrish, “James Overton Broadhead,” American National Biography III (New York: Oxford University Press 1999) 579; “Hon. James O. Broadhead,” The United States Biographical Dictionary Missouri Volume (Kansas City: Press of Ramsey, Millett & Hudson 1878) 434-435; St. Louis: the Future Great City (St. Louis: C.R. Barnes 1876) 636-637

12In Memoriam, 21-22, 33; American National Biography, 579; United States Biographical Dictionary, 435.  See also John Vollmer Mering, The Whig Party in Missouri (Columbia, Mo.: University of Missouri Press 1967)

13“Hon. James O. Broadhead,” The Century Magazine III (August, 1873) 2

14Parrish, American National Biography, 329-330; History of St. Charles, Montgomery and Warren Counties, Missouri (St. Louis: National Historical Company 1885) 207; Perry McCandles, A History of Missouri II (Columbia, Mo.: University of Missouri Press 1972) 280.  See also Marvin R. Cain, Lincoln’s Attorney General Edward Bates of Missouri (Columbia, Mo.: University of Missouri Press 1965)

15“Fragments of the Broadhead Collection,” MHS, Glimpses of the Past, 2, 4 (March 1935) 49-51

16Ibid.; In Memoriam, 45; William E. Parrish, Frank Blair: Lincoln’s Conservative (Columbia: University of Missouri Press 1998) 254

17Lieutenant-Colonel James O. Broadhead, “Early Events of the War in Missouri,” War Papers and Personal Reminiscences—Missouri (St. Louis: Becktold & Co. 1892) 4-5, 8, 9-12, 18-19; United States Biographical Dictionary, 435-436; Walter Harrington Ryle, Missouri: Union or Secession (Nashville: George Peabody College For Teachers 1931) 206

18Robert J. Rombauer, The Union Cause in St. Louis in 1861 (St. Louis: Press of Nixon-Jones Printing Co. 1909) 191; Conard and Hyde, 241

19For Broadhead’s position on the economic issue, see Missouri State Convention, March 1861, p. 122-123.  For a concise presentation of the Unionist economic argument, see Ryle, 208-209.

20Missouri State Convention, March 1861, 122-123

21Official Records, Ser. 1, Vol. 1, p. 675; United States Biographical Dictionary, p. 436; War Papers and Personal Reminiscences, 5; Adjutant General’s Report of Missouri State Militia For the Year 1861 (St. Louis: George Knapp & Co., Printers and Binders 1862) 6; James O. Broadhead, “St. Louis During the War,” James O. Broadhead Papers, Missouri Historical Society, St. Louis; “General Sweeny’s: A Museum of Civil War History,” 15 Nov. 2002, http://www.civilwarmuseum.com/gensweeny.html

22Official Records, Ser. 1, Vol. 1, p. 675

23Ryle, 206

24United States Biographical Dictionary, 436; William E. Parrish, A History of Missouri 1860-1875 (Columbia, Mo.: University of Missouri Press 1973) 10-11

25Ibid.; Parrish, A History of Missouri 1860-1875, 12-14; War Papers and Personal Reminiscences, 19-22; James Peckham, Gen. Nathaniel Lyon and Missouri in 1861 (New York: American News Company, Publisher 1866) 140-141

26“Fragments of the Broadhead Collection,” 57-58

27James O. Broadhead correspondence to Edward Bates, 4 Apr. 1862, James O. Broadhead Papers, Missouri Historical Society, St. Louis; Official Records, Ser. 2, Vol. I, p. 277; Louis S. Gerteis, Civil War St. Louis (Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas 2001) 169

28War Papers and Personal Reminiscences, 22-26; “Fragments of the Broadhead Collection,” 58

29Parrish, A History of Missouri 1860-1875, 22-23

30 Journal of the Missouri State Convention, July 1861 (St. Louis: George Knapp & Co., Printers and Binders 1861) 5, 9-10; W.F. Switzler, Illustrated History of Missouri From 1541 to 1877 (Saint Louis: C.R. Barns, Editor and Publisher 1879) 322; Eugene Morrow Violette, A History Of Missouri (Cape Girardeau, MO: Ramfre Press 1960 reprint, 1918) 328; Louisiana (Mo.) Journal, 1 Aug. 1861, p. 2

31Missouri State Convention, July 1861, 10

32Missouri State Convention, July 1861, 5-12, 17-18, 20-22, 25

33United States Biographical Dictionary, 436

34Annual Report of the Adjutant General of the State of Missouri for 1862 (St. Louis 1862) 3; Gerteis, 269; In Memoriam, 42

35United States Biographical Dictionary, 436; In Memoriam, 42

36In Memoriam, 44; See, William E. Parrish, Missouri Under Radical Rule, 1865-1870 (Columbia, MO: University of Missouri Press 1965) 58, 78, 84, 88, 248, 305, 315; Parrish, Frank Blair: Lincoln’s Conservative, 236, 241, 245, 251

37Biographical Dictionary of the United States, 436-437; “Broadhead, James Overton,” 29 May 2000, Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/

biodisplay.pl?index=B000848

38 Ibid.

OAK Call to Arms

The OAK Call to Arms

There has been a goodly amount of dispute about the aims, capabilities, and size of the copperhead society OAK–the Order of American Knights. For many years after the war, it was an article of faith that the copperheads —northern sympathizers with the south—had engaged in treason against the Union, and planned armed uprisings aimed at forcing an end to the war. This plan has generally come down to us under the rubric “The Northwest Conspiracy“. The general idea was based on the fact that the Northeast was the hotbed of abolitionism and the driving engine politically behind the Northern war effort, but the Northwest (today’s Midwest) was much more politically ambivalent. Since the Northwest provided much of the armed strength of the Union armies, if it could be forced out of the war, recalling its regiments, then the Northeast would have no choice but to accept Southern independence.

The works of Frank L. Klement (“The Limits of Dissent”, “Lincoln’s Critics”, “Dark Lanterns”, etc) seriously undermined the earlier understanding. In a series of books (1960-1999) on the copperheads, Klement argued that they were really a misunderstood “loyal opposition” to the Lincoln administration, and that whatever sins they had committed were of the venial or “indiscreet” variety. According to Klement, most of the hullabaloo over the copperheads and OAK (which used various names in different locales) was caused by ambitious Union officers and politicians who really knew better, but were intent on making political hay at the expense of the Democrats.

While Klement did some outstanding basic research in the area, his overriding desire to whitewash the copperheads’ connections to the Confederate secret service can only be described as blatant. In addition, not content with saying they were just wrong, Klement besmirches the memory and contributions of some fine Union officers and public servants in his rush to acquit the copperheads of the charges.

In Missouri, Klement’s ire is pointedly unleashed against Union department commander General William Rosecrans and his Provost Marshal, J. P. Sanderson. Released in the summer of 1864, “The Sanderson Report” alleged that OAK was planning insurrection across the Northwest, that the Order was deeply involved with the Confederate secret service, and that indeed the military commander of OAK was none other than Missouri’s own General Sterling Price. According to the report, a new invasion of the state by Price was brewing, and OAK was planning to rise in support of it.

This is all moonshine and myth according to Klement, born of Rosecrans and Sanderson being more interested in furthering their careers and reputations than the well-being of the Union. Unfortunately for Klement, Price’s invasion of the state occurred just as Sanderson predicted, and the leadership of OAK did indeed attempt to rally their membership to rise in support of it. The call to arms below is taken from the Confederate Correspondence section of the Official Records. Unfortunately for the Missouri Confederates, it was too little too late. The fall of Atlanta in early September had sucked the life out of the copperheads, and made it all too clear that the Confederacy was on its last legs. Under such circumstances, it is not surprising that many of the rank & file copperheads of OAK (those who were needed to do the actual fighting and dying) declined to participate in Price’s invasion. That things did not turn out the way OAK planned does not change the fact that Rosecrans and Sanderson had accurately uncovered and reported OAK’s plans and future activities.


O.R.—SERIES I—VOLUME 41/3 pp. 975-976

O. A. K.

HEADQUARTERS,
Saint Louis, Mo., October 1, 1864.

To THE MEMBERS OF THE ORDER OF
AMERICAN KNIGHTS OF THE STATE OF MISSOURI:

SIR KNIGHTS: Morning dawneth. General Price with at least 20,000 veteran soldiers is now within your State. Through your supreme commander (and with the approbation of the supreme council) you invited him to come to your aid. He was assured that if he came at this time with the requisite force you would co operate and add at least 20,000 true men to his army. He has hearkend to your prayer and is now battling for your deliverance. Sons of Liberty, will you falsify your plighted word? I know you will not. You are strong in numbers—full 30,000 strong—and your influence is potent. It requires but prompt action on the part of the members to insure the ultimate triumph of our cause. As you value your property, your liberties, your lives, and your sacred honor, fail not to give a helping hand in this crisis. Under and by virtue of the authority vested in me by section — of the code of the O. A. K.s, authorizing the appointment of a major-general to command the members called into the military service, I shall appoint that brave and true soldier, Missouri’s favorite son, Maj. Gen. Sterling Price, military commander of the O. A. K.s of the State of Missouri.

All able-bodied men of the O. A. K.s are hereby called upon and required to render military service in behalf of our cause. All true knights will yield prompt obedience to the orders and commands of General Price. Meantime do all possible damage to the enemy. Seize all arms and munitions of war within your power. Take possession of and hold all important places you can, and recruit as rapidly as possible. If you cannot sustain yourselves fall back upon the army of occupation. In townships and counties where you cannot concentrate on account of the presence of the enemy repair singly or in squads without delay to the army, or to points where your brethren may be marshaling their forces, and in all cases be ready to obey the commands of your chieftain and unite with the forces when an opportune moment others. Ye knights, who belong to the militia, a change of government is now impending and you possess peculiar advantages for doing good service, and it is believed you will not fail to act efficiently. You joined the militia that you might the better protect yourselves under Radical rule. Now prepare to strike with the victorious hosts <ar85_976> under General Price and aid in the redemption of the State. Already hundreds of militiamen, arms in hands, have taken position beside the brave and gallant soldiers under General Price. In no event permit yourselves to be arrayed against your brethren. I enjoin it upon the district and county commanders and the grand seniors to be vigilant and active in the discharge of their respective duties. Let each one feel that upon him depends the successful issue of this contest, and that it is paramount duty to immediately enter the service. I address you perhaps for the last time. You have honored me and given me your confidence. I have endeavored to merit as I appreciate that consideration. Danger has not deterred me from the discharge of duty, and the period of my intercourse and collaboration with you and brethren of other States I shall ever revert to with feelings of pleasurable emotion. I have rejoiced to note the unanimity of sentiment and earnestness of purpose evinced to put forth every effort, with force of arms if need be, to establish the great principles of liberty and free government and States rights, so soon as the event which is upon us transpired. Brethren, the time for action has come. We must now meet the hosts of the tyrant in the field and sustain our friends and our cause. Be assured I shall buckle on my armor, and I trust I shall greet many thousands of you in the camp of our friends. If we do not sustain General Price, and our cause in consequence fails, all will be lost. We must fight. Honor and patriotism demand it. Then remember your solemn oaths. Remember the sacred obligations resting upon you and resolve, individually and collectively, to do your duty knowing it full well.

Until otherwise ordered headquarters of the O. A. K.s will be hereafter in the army of General Price.

All officers of the O. A. K.s are charged to use the utmost dispatch in communicating this letter to the members. Absence from the city prevented an earlier issue of this communication. Remember our motto: “Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God.”

Given under my hand and seal of the O. A. K.s of the State of Missouri, this 1st day of October, A. D. 1864.

JOHN H. TAYLOR,

Supreme Commander of the State of Missouri.

The Missouri Convention by Thomas L Snead

The Missouri Convention

By Thomas L. Snead

A bio of Thomas L. Snead

Excerpted and Introduced by G.E. Rule

from “The Fight For Missouri”, Thomas L. Snead, 1886

Missouri Civil War Reader CD-ROM

Missouri Civil War Reader, Volume I now available

The Fight for Missouri by Thomas L. Snead, 1886

The Struggle for Missouri by John McElroy, 1909

The Story of a Border City During the Civil War by Galusha Anderson, 1908

The Crisis by Winston Churchill, 1901

Basil Duke in Missouri by Gen. Basil Wilson Duke, 1911

The Brown-Reynolds Duel, 1911

Cost per CD ROM is $24.95 + $4.00 priority mail shipping

Thomas L. Snead was, successively, a pro-Breckinridge newspaperman, aide to Governor Claiborne Jackson, adjutant to General Sterling Price, and CSA Congressman from Missouri. His “The Fight for Missouri: From the Election of Lincoln to the Death of Lyon” is the best first hand account of events in Missouri from late 1860 until August of 1861. Predictably, many Pro-Union partisans regard Snead as hopelessly biased towards the secessionist’s point of view. More surprisingly, some Pro-Confederate partisans consider that by 1886 Snead was too much of a “reconstructed Rebel” and not strident enough in defending the secessionist point of view. Snead himself was not above playing hardball during the war, signing the order in 1863 on behalf of General Sterling Price directing Captain Thomas E. Courtenay to raise a corps of 20 men for secret service to engage in sabotage behind Union lines in the Trans-Mississippi.

Chosen by special election in Feb. 1861, the members of The Missouri Convention met, speechified, and decided to do nothing. The timing of the convention worked out very well for the Unionists and very poorly for the Secessionists. A convention chosen, or even still in session, after Lincoln’s call for troops to suppress the South on April 17th might have ended quite differently. Indeed, such was the course of events in Virginia where it was believed that the Unionists held the upper hand right to the end. . .and secession of the state. But in Virginia the Unionists made the fatal mistake of allowing the Convention to stay in session, while in Missouri they were smart enough to disband as soon as possible. A Convention not in session cannot vote to secede.



The State Convention met at Jefferson City on the last day of February. Ex-Governor Sterling Price, a Union man, was chosen President, receiving the votes of seventy-five Union Men, while the votes of fifteen Southern Rights’ men were given to Nathaniel W. Watkins, a half-brother of Henry Clay. As soon as the Convention completed its organization it adjourned its session to St. Louis, whose loyal atmosphere it preferred to that of the capital.

Of its ninety-nine members fifty-three were natives of either Virginia or Kentucky; and all but seventeen had been born in the slave-holding States. Only thirteen were natives of the North. Three were Germans, and there was one Irishman. The President of the Convention, the Chairman of the Committee on Federal Relations Judge Gamble, the leader of the Unconditional Union men on the floor James O. Broadhead, and the most conspicuous opponent of Secession John B. Henderson, were all Virginians.

The Convention reassembled at St. Louis on the 4th of March, the day of Lincoln’s inauguration, and went straight to work. On the 9th the Committee on Federal Relations made a long report through its chairman, Judge Gamble. In this report, after reviewing the condition of the country, they said:

“To involve Missouri in revolution, under the present circumstances, is certainly not demanded by the magnitude of the grievances of which we complain; nor by the certainty that they cannot be otherwise and more peacefully remedied, nor by the hope that they would be remedied, or even diminished by such revolution.

“The position of Missouri in relation to the adjacent States, which would continue in the Union, would necessarily expose her, if she became a member of a new Confederacy, to utter destruction whenever any rupture might take place between the different republics. In a military aspect secession and connection with a Southern Confederacy is annihilation for Missouri.

“The true position for Missouri to assume is that of a State whose interests are bound up in the maintenance of the Union, and whose kind feelings and strong sympathies are with the people of the Southern States, with whom we are connected by the ties of friendship and blood… To go with those States —to leave the government our fathers builded— to blot out the star of Missouri from the constellation of the Union is to ruin ourselves without doing them any good. We cannot follow them, we cannot give up the Union, but we will do all in our power to induce them to again take their places with us in the family from which they have attempted to separate themselves. For this purpose we will not only recommend a compromise with which they ought to be satisfied, but we will endeavor to procure an assemblage of the whole family of States in order that in a General Convention such amendments to the Constitution may be agreed upon as shall permanently restore harmony to the whole nation.”

The committee also submitted to the Convention resolutions conformable to these opinions, and which in substance were,

1. That there was no adequate cause for the withdrawal of Missouri from the Union.

2. That believing that the seceded States would return to the Union if the Crittenden Proposition were adopted, the Convention would request the General Assembly to call a Convention of all the States to consider that proposition.

3. That they would entreat the Federal Government not to employ force against the seceding States, and the latter not to assail the Government, while this proposition was under consideration.

Mr. Bast moved that the Convention should further declare that if the Northern States should refuse to assent to the Crittenden Compromise, and the other border slave States should thereupon secede, Missouri would not then hesitate to take a firm and decided stand in favor of her sister States of the South.

For this proposition only twenty-three members voted. Among them were Sterling Price, Robert A. Hatcher, Harrison Hough, Prince L. Hudgins, John T. Redd, and Nathaniel W. Watkins. Among the seventy who voted against it were General Doniphan, Judge Gamble, James H. Moss, William A. Hall, John B. Henderson, and James O. Broadhead.

While Mr. Moss, who was, by the way, a man of ability and character, would not vote to declare that Missouri would, under any circumstances, secede, he was opposed to coercion, and therefore offered a resolution declaring that Missouri would “never furnish men or money for the purpose of aiding the General Government in any attempts to coerce a seceding State.”

In advocating this resolution he said:

“I submit to every man of common sense in this Assembly to tell me whether Missouri will ever furnish a regiment to invade a Southern State for the purpose of coercion. Never! Never! And, gentlemen! Missouri expects this Convention to say so… I believe it to be the duty of Missouri to stand by the gallant men of southern Illinois, who have declared that they will never suffer a Northern army to pass the southern boundary of Illinois for the purpose of invading a Southern State.”

To this William A. Hall replied with unanswerable argument that if Missouri remained in the Union it would be her duty to furnish both men and money to the General Government when properly called upon for them, whether to coerce a State into submission, or for any other purpose. To say that she would not do this, would be an idle threat at best, and a mischievous one. Threats on the part of Northern men or communities might have a good effect by showing the willingness of some men at the North to be just to the South. But such threats coming from a Southern State would only encourage the seceding States and enrage the North.

The Convention voted down the proposition of Mr. Moss; and “the pitiless logic of facts” forced him afterwards to raise and command a regiment for the subjugation of the South!

While acting consistently with their new-born determination to stand by the Union, the Conditional Union men still talked as they had been wont to talk when they were soliciting the votes of the Southern people of Missouri. Even John B. Henderson, daring and reckless as he had become in his newly awakened zeal and loyalty, opposed Moss’s resolution only because it was useless.

“Does any man suppose,” said he, “that the President of the United States will so far disregard his duties under the Constitution, or forget the obligation of his oath, as to undertake the subjugation of the Southern States by force? Will the abstract principle of the enforcement of the laws ever be carried by the President to the extent of military subjugation? If so, this Government is at an end. Will you tell me that Mr. Lincoln will send Don Quixotes into the Southern States with military force to subjugate those States? Certainly not… He who dreams that this Government was made or intended to subjugate any one of the States dreams certainly against the spirit, against the intent, and against the whole scope of our institutions… The President has no more power to use force than you or I. Why, then, should Missouri declare that she will under no circumstances lend means or money to the enforcement of the laws by the Federal Government?”

There were a few who still dared to speak as Southern men in a Missouri Convention, and to express in the presence of Blair’s Horne Guards and of United States troops and in the centre of the loyal city of St. Louis, the opinions which they had expressed during the canvass to their Southern-born constituents. Among these were: Prince L. Hudgins and John T. Redd. The former, in the course of an able and impassioned argument in support of Moss’ proposition, said:

“I do not believe that a State has a constitutional right to secede; but seven States claim to have seceded, and I, for one, am anxious to bring them back. You cannot do this by threats, nor by force, nor by abuse. They have done what they thought best for themselves, for their children, and for their children’s children. They have done it deliberately and after great consideration… If Missouri wishes to bring them back, she must remember that they are our brethren; that they must be treated not as traitors, but as patriots; and that they can only be brought back upon fair and honorable terms… The Federal Government has no right to force them back; and if it had such a right, this Convention should say that it ought not to be, and in the language of Virginia and Kentucky, must not be, used. It has been settled beyond the power of refutation that the Government has no right to march an armed force into a State in order to subjugate it. If this be so, cannot Missouri have the courage to say that, if Abraham Lincoln, in violation of the Constitution, and in violation of his oath, march an army into the South, she will not aid him with men and money?

“It is strange that any man who lives in Missouri, and believes in her institutions, should hesitate to declare that she will not engage in such a war. It would be a dreadful thing to do, even if the Constitution, and the flag of our country, and our own Honor required us to do it —to make war upon the land in which we were born, and whose churchyards are filled with the graves of our ancestors; to desolate the homes and to shed the blood of our kindred. It is too horrible to contemplate. Missouri never will do it…

“Nor can I believe for one moment that Missouri intends, or that this Convention will say that is her duty, to submit to Northern aggression, to give up her institutions, and to sacrifice her honor. Let our slaves go if they must, let all our property be sacrificed, but let us maintain our honor—the honor of freemen. If ever the President command Missourians to shed the blood of their Southern brothers, they should take the halter in one hand and the sword in the other and tell him that when he had taken the one he might use the other. I have no submission blood in my veins. If I had I would let it out with a knife.”

John T. Redd, of Marion, was even more emphatic than Hudgins. They were both men of ability, and of high standing, and their words had weight with the people of Missouri. It is a pity to offer the reader only a dry summary of their speeches. They ought to be read in full by every one who wishes to comprehend the motives which governed the conduct of the men who took up arms against the Federal Government.

“If the General Government send troops upon Southern soil to retake the forts now in the hands of those States, to retake the custom-houses for the purpose of collecting the revenue, or for any other purpose, the Union is gone. If it be once dissolved it can never be reconstructed, because between the sundered sections there will be a gulf of blood.

“It is my opinion that if the General Government will not wait till the country can, by conciliation and compromise, save the Union, Missouri should and will take the stand with her Southern sisters; and that, having failed to obtain their rights, having failed to obtain any guarantee from that great antislavery party which has so long trampled the Constitution under foot, she and they should take their stand outside of the Union, taking with them the Constitution, and that glorious banner which they have baptized in the blood of a hundred battlefields, and fight, if need be, for their rights and institutions, as their fathers fought, and until the last drop of blood be spilled… If she is to remain in the Union at the sacrifice of her institutions and her rights, she should change the device of her coat-of-arms, remove from it the grizzly bears, whose rugged nature was never animated by a craven spirit, and substitute in their place a fawning spaniel, cowing at the feet of its master, and licking the hand that smites it.

Even Broadhead, an Unconditional Union member from St. Louis, did not believe that the Federal Government had a right to coerce a State; but he found in the power which it had to call out the militia in order to execute the laws, to suppress insurrection, and to repel invasion, abundant authority to use force for the preservation of the Union.

Argument and declamation had, however, little to do with the settlement of the question, and with determining the action of the Convention. It was a fact which decided the matter and persuaded that Body to declare that Missouri would adhere loyally to the Union. This fact was bluntly announced to the Convention and to the people of the State by Broadhead, who was not only a delegate to the Convention but a member of the Union Safety Committee of St. Louis and a trusted counselor of Mr. Lincoln, at the conclusion of his speech, in these words: “Missouri cannot go out of the Union if she would. I think I know what I say when I speak it, Missouri has not the power to go out of the Union if she would.” What he meant will appear in the sequel. He did know what he was saying.

The Convention adopted Gamble’s report and resolutions, and a few days afterwards (March 21) adjourned subject to the call of a committee, which it named.

Early in the session, the General Assembly had refused to elect a United States Senator in place of James S. Green, whose term was to expire on the 3d of March. It had done this upon the ground that it was better to learn first whether Missouri would remain in the Union or not. It being now obvious that the State would not secede, the General Assembly proceeded to the election of a Senator (March 12th). The Democrats nominated Green for the place, but found it impossible, after several days’ balloting, to elect so pronounced a Secessionist as he. Waldo P. Johnson was thereupon elected. It is a noteworthy fact that Green, who was relegated to private life because he was a Secessionist, did not raise his hand or his voice in behalf of the South during the war, while Johnson, who had been elected because he was a good Union man, quickly resigned his seat in the Senate, entered the army, and fought for the Confederacy till the end of the war.

Of Green, Mr. Blaine, who rarely permits himself to write justly or fairly about any Southern man says: “No man among his contemporaries had made so profound an impression in so short a time. He was a very strong debater. He had peers, but no master, in the Senate. Mr. Green on the one side, and Mr. Fessenden on the other, were the Senators whom Douglas most disliked to meet, and who were best fitted in readiness, in accuracy, and in logic to meet him. Douglas rarely had a debate with either in which he did not lose his temper, and to lose one’s temper in debate is generally to lose one’s cause. Green had done more than any other man in Missouri to break down the power of Thomas H. Benton as a leader of the Democracy. His arraignment of Benton before the people of Missouri in 1849, when he was but thirty-two years of age, was one of the most aggressive and most successful warfares in our political annals.”

After serving several years in the House of Representatives, he had been elected to the United States Senate in January 1859, and became the leader of the pro-slavery men in the Congressional contest for the possession of Kansas. He bore himself there with so much dignity and courtesy, and was so able in argument and brilliant in debate, that he won the admiration of every one and deserved even higher praise than that which Mr. Blaine accords to him.

Although the Secessionists had, through defection of some of their number, lost control of the House of Representatives, and could not consequently enact any measure looking toward the secession of the State, they could, nevertheless, bring to their support a majority of the House, whenever they attacked the Republican party and not the Union; for many men who were devoted to the Union were bitterly hostile to the Republicans, and especially hostile to that party as it was constituted in St. Louis. In that city, it consisted almost wholly of Germans, though their leaders were chiefly Kentuckians and Virginians. They were in possession of the City Government, and their Mayor was a stern and uncompromising partisan, a member of the Union Safety Committee, and a man who would not hesitate to use the police force and all the power and resources of the city to repress any movements on the part of the Secessionists. He was sustained also by the powerful semi-military organization of Home Guards, and could, in the moment of need, call them to his aid as special constables and, by investing them with the panoply of the law, thrice arm them for the fight. These companies, as has already been told, had, previous to the election of the 18th of February, become so turbulent and aggressive as to alarm the peaceful residents of the city, and recent events had made them more arrogant and more dangerous still. It had therefore become a matter of supreme importance to the Secessionists to take these great powers from the Mayor, and accordingly a law was now enacted for creating a Board of Police Commissioners and authorizing a police force for the city of St. Louis. This bill, which passed the Senate on the 2d of March, and the House on the 23d, authorized the Governor, with the consent of the Senate, to appoint four commissioners, who, along with the Mayor of the city, should have absolute control of the police, of the Volunteer Militia of St. Louis, and of the sheriff and all other conservators of the peace. This act summarily took away from the Republican Mayor and transferred to the Governor through his appointees, the whole police power of the city of St. Louis. This was its expressed intention. It had other and more important purposes which were carefully concealed.

On the 22d of March, the President of the Convention transmitted to the General Assembly the resolution requesting that body to take the proper steps for calling a Convention of all the States to propose amendments to the Constitution.

Mr. Vest reported (March 27th) from the committee to whom the resolution was referred, that “Going into council with our oppressors before we have agreed among ourselves, can never result in good. It is not the North that has been wronged, but the South, and the South can alone determine what securities in the future will be sufficient. The interests of Missouri, all her sympathies and the affections of her people render her destiny the same with that of the Border Slave States. Mediation by one State alone will amount to nothing. Let us first agree with those whom God and Nature have made our associates in council, and then, in a temperate but firm manner, make known our united decision to the people of the North. If such a demand, coming from the people of eight sister States, swelling in a tone of grandeur and power which should sway the destinies of the universe, shall he disregarded, then, indeed, all hopes of reconstruction would be ended, and appealing to the civilized world a united South, with common lineage, common feelings and common institutions, would take their place among the nations of the earth. With these opinions the committee beg leave to report that it is inexpedient for the General Assembly to take any step towards calling a National Convention.”

In the course of the debate upon this report, Vest said: “The Convention has been guilty of falsehood and deceit. It says that there is no cause for separation. If this be so, why call a Convention? In declaring that if the other Border Slave Sates seceded Missouri would still remain within the Union, these wiseacres have perpetrated a libel upon Missouri. So help me God! if the day ever comes when Missouri shall prove so recreant to herself, so recreant to the memories of the past and to the hopes of the future, as to submit tamely to these Northern Philistines, I will take up my household goods and leave the State. Make another Constitution and these Northern Vandals will trample it under foot… I appeal to the people of Missouri to maintain their rights. I defy the Convention. They are political cheats, jugglers, and charlatans, who foisted themselves upon the people by ditties and music and striped flags. They do not represent Missouri. They have crooked the pliant hinges of the knee that thrift might follow fawning. As for myself, two grandfathers who fought for our liberties rest in the soil of Virginia, and two uncles who fought in the Revolution, sleep in the land of the Dark and Bloody Ground. With such blood in my veins, I will never, never, NEVER submit to Northern rule and dictation, I will risk all to be with the Southern people, and, if defeated, I can with a patriot of old exclaim,

“More true joy an exile feels,

Than Cæsar with a Senate at his heels.”

The Legislature, having adopted the report, adjourned the next day, March the 28th.

The Secessionists now began to gather strength again. The Governor had never wavered in his determination to hold the State firm to her pledge to resist the coercion of the South. And now many of those who had in January and February and in the early days of March been deluded into the belief that it was still possible to prevent war had at last come to the conclusion that war was inevitable, that a collision would sooner or later take place between the Federal Government and the South, and that Missouri would have to take part in the conflict, and they were now taking sides with the Governor. In St. Louis, particularly, a strong revulsion of feeling had set in against Blair and his followers. Their open preparation for war alarmed the great land owners and rich merchants of St. Louis, who preferred peace to everything else, and it frightened thousands of others whose prosperity depended on the continuance of Southern trade, which would be instantly stopped by war. It was plain now that the South was for peace, and the North for war. The Secessionists had thus become the party of peace, and they were joined by every man who wanted that above all things. It was useless for Mr. Lincoln to say that he was averse to war. All men knew that, but they also knew that it was only by war that he could maintain the Union. The common sense of the people recognized this fact, and that they acted upon it was abundantly proven when the Municipal Election took place in St. Louis on the 1st of April, and the Unconditional Union men, who had carried the city in February by a majority of 5,000, were defeated by a majority of 2,600.

This was a declaration in favor, not of secession, but of peace, and against making war upon the South; and there were still men —thousands of men— in St. Louis, and throughout Missouri who continued to believe that war might yet be averted; and there were others who foolishly fancied that, even if war raged from the Lakes to the Gulf and from the Atlantic to the Pacific, Missouri could, in the midst of the bloody strife, remain neutral and enjoy unbroken peace.

There were, however, two classes of men in Missouri who had never indulged in these baseless hopes; who had seen at the outset that war inevitable, and had then begun to prepare for war. At the head of the one stood the Governor of the State, Claiborne F. Jackson; at the head of the other Francis P. Blair, Jr. Never did either of them quail in the presence of any danger, nor shrink from the performance of any duty, however difficult or perilous, which he was called upon to encounter, or to undertake, in defense, or in maintenance, of the principles to which he had devoted his life. Under the banner of the State upheld by the one or under the flag of the Union uplifted by the other, all earnest men had at last begun to rally.


The Confederate Camp by J W Tucker

“The Confederate Camp” by J. W. Tucker, Missouri Army Argus, Osceola, Mo., Dec. 12, 1861

We have written on Joseph W. Tucker before (see J.W. Tucker and the Boat-Burners and “Sultana: A Case for Sabotage” in North and South magazine) and no doubt will do so again. Tucker is an endlessly fascinating topic, the hottest “fire-eater” in Missouri and a man who appears to have had his thumb in every secret scheme and society that the Missouri Confederates ever cooked up.

Having maneuvered all state printing business to his unambiguously pro-secession Missouri State Journal in the months before the war commenced, his St. Louis offices were raided in June of 1861 by the Union authorities. Found there was a letter from Governor Claiborne Jackson, unambiguously stating his plans to take the state out of the Union. This letter was used against the Governor when the State Convention —by this time shorn of almost all members who were not Unconditional Unionists— met in July and removed Jackson from office.

A footnote in Christopher Phillips’ Missouri’s Confederate seems to suggest that this letter may have been a fake, possibly planted by the Unionists to be found during their search and used against both Tucker and Jackson. This is an interesting possibility, but to our minds is unlikely. Thomas L. Snead knew both of these men very well, and worked closely with them during the war. It is hard to believe that if the letter were a fake that one or both of them would not have apprised him of the fact. Yet Snead makes no mention of it in his book The Fight For Missouri. As this letter was one of the grounds used (though there can be little doubt that the Convention was going to supplant Jackson with one of its own no matter what) to remove the Governor, certainly Snead would have mentioned it had one of the principals ever claimed the letter to be a forgery.

On trial for Treason in St. Louis, Tucker jumped a $10,000 bail and headed straight for the camp of the Missouri State Guard. There he started the Missouri Army Argus and followed after the Guard. As the Guard was sworn into Confederate service in late ’61 and early ’62, he and his paper continued to tag along. Following the Missourians across Ole Man River, Tucker situated his paper first at Jackson, Miss., and finally at Mobile, Ala. as the Argus & Crisis. Wherever Tucker and his paper were based, two things were constant —it was the unofficial voice of Governor Claiborne Jackson and Gen. Sterling Price, and it was often a thorn in the side of the Confederate government at Richmond.

Below is one of the few surviving articles from the Missouri Army Argus. This article was written at a time when the Missouri Confederate leadership was doing everything it could to encourage soldiers of the State Guard to re-enlist as members of the Confederate States Army. It is, quite frankly, a recruiting pitch —as full of promises as a politician on the stump.



Missouri Army Argus

December 12th, 1861

J. W. Tucker

THE CONFEDERATE CAMP.

We visited the encampment of Missouri troops, enlisted into the Confederate States’ service, yesterday, with feelings of pride and gratification.

The organization of State Guards, while it comprised the best fighting material in this or any other country, has proved very loose and defective. The largest army of troops thus organized would never constitute a very reliable force for military purposes. Without detailing reasons why this is so, every one is conscious of the fact, and all experience demonstrates its truth. The army of the Confederate States will present all the order, discipline, compactness, power, and efficiency of regular soldiers. It will constitute the regular army, while the State Guards, if the organization be maintained at all, will be regarded as the militia troops.

The popularity of the Confederate army in Missouri will sweep all before it. It is the army to conquer and hold the State. It is, in the language of sportsmen, the card that will win. That army will become the Old Guard of our history. It will be admirably armed and equipped, and well provided with all things necessary to the soldier’s comfort. The troops thus employed will be regularly paid in money every two months. The entire corps will be under the command of General Price.

Reason as we may, only this movement can save the State and insure its complete protection. Missouri can never be free by her own unaided efforts. Our Southern allies open wide their arms to embrace her as one of their family. Their money and their men are pledged to our defence. Flock to the Confederate camp, brave boys, and raise a war-cry there which shall shake the hills and strike terror into the ranks of the oppressors!

There will be connected with the Confederate camp a most magnificent sutler’s establishment, where every comfort and delicacy known to the shops of a great city can be purchased. The parties have already ordered up from the South the necessary supplies.

Rally to the Confederate camp, boys, join hands with your comrades in arms and hurl defiance into the teeth of the cruel and bloody tyrants that waste and afflict the State.

Who’ll go?

Who will NOT go?

Thousands have already enrolled their names, and those names WILL BE RECORDED IN HISTORY.

John Newman Edwards Bio

JOHN NEWMAN EDWARDS

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.

BY REV. GEO. PLATTENBURG, DOVER, MO.

From John N. Edwards: Biography, Memoirs, Reminiscences and Recollections,

edited by Jennie Edwards, 1889

Major John Newman Edwards, CSA, was General Jo. Shelby’s adjutant and chronicler. At war’s end Edwards chose to share Mexican exile with Shelby as well. When they returned to the U.S. in 1867, Edwards rapidly published three large volumes of wartime experiences. Two dealt specifically with Shelby, “Shelby and his Men”, 1867 and “Shelby’s Expedition to Mexico”, 1872. In 1873, he published a long piece in the St. Louis Dispatch —”A Terrible Quintette”—about the James Boys, two of the Youngers, and Arthur McCoy. Some of this piece was reused for his 1877 book “Noted Guerrillas”, a broad handling of the Confederate irregulars in Missouri during the war. Edwards also founded the Kansas City Times and was its editor for many years.

Make no mistake, Major John N. Edwards was a Confederate and proud of it. You will not find more than passing reference to the other side of the coin in his pages. His flamboyantly purple prose is sometimes entertaining and sometimes tiresome, but is always used in defense of Confederate Missouri and its view of the world and “the late unpleasantness”.

Historians almost universally pillory Edwards for his exaggerations and blatant defense of all things Confederate, no matter the individual facts of the case. Yet at the same time, they must deal with him. In many instances he is the only source available. While it would be a grave mistake to rely solely on Edwards for your understanding of the Civil War and Reconstruction in Missouri, you cannot be well read on the war in Missouri without having read Edwards, and you cannot understand the way the Missouri Confederates understood themselves without reading Edwards. In addition, many western historians credit Edwards with almost single-handedly starting the myth of the “noble outlaw” in this country with his defense of the Jameses, Youngers, and their cohorts after the war.


By John Newman Edwards: Noted Guerrillas and, the extremely rare, A Terrible Quintette for the first time available on a searchable CD-ROM:

Click here for more info and to order

FIRST PUBLICATION OF “A TERRIBLE QUINTETTE” ANYWHERE IN 129 YEARS!

FIRST SEARCHABLE PUBLICATION, WITH ALL ORIGINAL ILLUSTRATIONS, OF “NOTED GUERRILLAS”

“Noted Guerrillas, or the Warfare of the Border”, John N. Edwards, 1877, 488 Pages, 26 illustrations.

Quantrill (“Quantrell”), Bloody Bill Anderson, George Todd, Arch Clements, Fletch Taylor, Jesse James, Frank James, Cole Younger, John Jarrette, Arthur C. McCoy, John Thrailkill  —they’re all here, described by a man who knew them.

“A Terrible Quintette”, John N. Edwards, St. Louis Dispatch, Nov. 22, 1873. 21,000 words.

FIRST PUBLICATION ANYWHERE IN 129 YEARS!

“Edwards had for the first time put together some of the most important ingredients of the James Legend.” –William A. Settle, Jr, author of “Jesse James Was His Name”, describing “A Terrible Quintette”

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The subject of this brief sketch, John Newman Edwards, was born in Warren County, Va., January 4, 1839. Whilst a mere boy he learned type-setting at the town of Front Royal, a place now of great and heroic memories, in the Gazette office, a paper at this writing called the Sentinel. Even at that time he was regarded as a boy of extraordinary powers, having, at the immature age of fourteen years, as testifies a contemporary, written a story that gave him “wide celebrity.” While yet a boy, through the influence of his relation, Thomas J. Yerby, of Lexington, now of Marshall, Mo., he was induced to come to the State of Missouri in 1854 or 1855. Arriving in Lexington, he soon thereafter entered upon his avocation of printer in the office of the Expositor, by whom conducted I do not now recall. Here, really, began the education of this singularly gifted boy, whose manhood was to be so rich in strange adventures and romance. Of schools Major Edwards knew but little, his advantages of this kind were limited and poor in character. As a boy, he loved solitude—this peculiarity in manhood made him shy to the verge of girlish timidity. He loved the fields, sweet with “the breath of kine” and the new-mown hay. He lingered in the dim vistas of the woods, and from out their slumberous shadows, dreamily watched the ceaseless swirl of the great river. This love of nature and its communion, made him fond of the hunt and the pastime of gentle Izaak Walton.

His life during these years, in and about Lexington, was of the ordinary uneventful character, belonging to extreme youth and peaceful times. But the storm was brewing. The distant and sullen muttering of a great political upheaval was breaking ominously upon the nation’s ears. Great questions lying radically at the very base of the two antagonistic conceptions of the American system of government, were loudly and hotly contested by the sections of the country. The slavery question was not the cause, but the occasion of the threatened rupture. Whatever men may say, or however much they may deplore sectional controversy, there were, as there are, but two great drifts of thought as to the true theory of our institutions, the one, denominated, “State Rights,” the other, the steady trend toward centralization. Leaving the truth or falsity of these contested theories out of the question, the fact remains that out of them came one of the mightiest struggles known to the annals of the race. The rupture came. The “golden bowl was broken,” the “silver cord was loosened,” and there came an era of hate and blood that all good men ought gladly to wish to be forgotten.

HIS CAREER AS A SOLDIER.

It is at this juncture that Major Edwards began his active career. In the year 1862, Gen. Jo. O. Shelby organized a regiment near Waverly, Lafayette County, Mo. Of this regiment Frank Gordon was Lieutenant-Colonel. Colonels Shanks and Beal G. Jeans, with Capt. Ben Elliott in command of a battalion, joined and united with Shelby at this point. This command moved on the day of the Lone Jack fight with a view of forming a junction with Cockrell and Coffee. The forces of Shanks, Jeans, and Elliott, with his own regiment, constituted the original force under Shelby. Of this command, after the expiration of several months, upon the retirement of Captain Arthur, John N. Edwards received the appointment of Brigade-Adjutant, with the rank of Major. This occurred in the month of September, 1863. When finally Shelby was promoted to the command of a division, Edwards shared the fortune of his generous and chivalrous leader and became the Adjutant of the division, I think with the rank of Colonel, though of this I have no positive evidence at hand. In this position he continued until the disbanding of the whole command after Lee’s surrender.

Shelby’s force, as we have seen, left Waverly to form a junction with Cockrell and Coffee, but on reaching Columbus in Johnson County, he heard of the Lone Jack battle, and was compelled to revise his plans. He began to work his way south, invironed by almost indescribable difficulties, and never at any time were the experiences and dangers of this illustrious body of men greater or graver. Care, prudence and courage of the highest order were manifested in successfully making this junction, with the men that fought at Lone Jack, an accomplished fact. This was done at or near Newtonia, from which point the united force fell back to McKissock’s Springs, in Arkansas. Of this force, as Senior Colonel, Shelby took command, Lieut.-Col. Frank Gordon being at the head of the old regiment. From McKissock’s they fell back to Cane Hill, a place made memorable years before by one of those tragedies so incident to frontier life of almost indescribable horror. Here they rested, Hindman at that time having his headquarters at Van Buren. To Shelby was given the arduous and dangerous duty of watching and contesting, step by step, the Federal advance from Fayetteville. It was necessarily Shelby’s additional duty to cover Hindman’s movements at Van Buren, Blount performing alike service for Curtis. During this period the splendid soldierly qualities of this whole command were daily exhibited. The soldier alone knows the hardships, and the demand for an almost superhuman endurance in this form of military service, of such varied fortune of defeat and victory. During the whole period immediately prior to the battle of Prairie Grove, Shelby held the position in front of Hindman’s advance, and finally, on a frosty December morning, he opened the hard contested fight of Prairie Grove. The sad December night before the battle is thus described by Major Edwards himself, and as he alone could do it: “The moon this night had been eclipsed, too, and upon many of the soldiers the weird, mysterious appearance of the sky, the pale, ghost-like phantom of a cloud across its crimson disc, had much of superstitious influence. At first, when the glowing camp fires had burned low and comfortable a great flood of radiance was pouring over the mountains and silvering even the hoary white beard of the moss clustering about the blank, bare faces of the precipices. The shadows contracted finally. The moon seemed on fire, and burned itself to ashes. The gigantic buckler of the heavens, studded all over with star-diamonds, had for its boss a gloomy, yellowish, struggling moon. Like a Wounded King, it seemed to bleed royally over the nearest cloud, then wrapt its dark mantle about its face, even as Caesar did, and sink gradually into extinction. There was a hollow grief of the winds among the trees, and the snowy phantasm of the frost crinkled and rustled its gauze robes under foot. The men talked in subdued voices around their camp-fires, and were anxious to draw from the eclipse some happy augury. Relief exhibited itself on every face when the moon at least shone out broad and good, and the dark shadows were again lit up with tremulous rays of light.”

And e’er the great sun’s white splendors kissed the rime-robed earth, Shelby’s voice, clear as a bugle’s note, came to gallant Shanks, “Forward, Major!” And since the day that men first learned war, they never rode with more splendid courage into battle; not one of all these men but deserved the golden spurs of chivalrous knighthood. From this field, stained with such precious blood on this chill December day, Shelby again occupied the post of honor and danger, covering Hindman’s retreat. Falling back slowly, on reaching Van Buren he found that General Hindman had abandoned his position at Van Buren, and had fallen back to Little Rock. Shelby finally went into camp at Lewisburg, on the Arkansas River, and became virtually an outpost of Hindman’s command at Little Rock. Shelby in all this service acted independently, although shortly prior to the Prairie Grove battle Shelby’s and Marmaduke’s Brigades had been united, forming Marmaduke’s Division; the latter becoming Division Commander by virtue of a Brigadier’s commission at that time in his possession. At this camp was organized an expedition into Missouri, the leading event of which was the capture of Springfield, January 8, 1863. But being unable to hold the position won, they moved on in an easterly direction to the town of Hartsville, where a disastrous defeat was sustained. From this point a retreat was effected, and the force went finally into camp at Batesville, on the White River in Arkansas. Here, probably in the month of April, subsequent to the events described, was organized what is known as the “Cape Girardeau Expedition,” as the attack upon this town was the leading event of the campaign, where the subject of this sketch was wounded and taken prisoner. Sometime prior to that measureless blunder of a most pitiful senility, the disastrous assault upon Helena, Arkansas, Major Edwards was exchanged and had rejoined his command, taking part in the fateful scenes of that dark day when so many gallant and fearless men were slaughtered upon the altar of a boundless stupidity. Shelby was wounded in this battle. His command then moved to Jackson Port, where he remained until the Federal advance under that humane soldier, General Frederick Steele, was made on Little Rock. Shelby was commanded to take position on Bayou Metoe, to watch Steele’s advance from points on the White River. Price’s whole force was then occupying an intrenched position on the Arkansas River immediately opposite Little Rock. Colonel Frank Gordon’s regiment was occupying a position on the extremity of a spur of Big Rock, in full view of the city. In all the scenes before Little Rock Shelby’s division was a very large part, and finally covered Price’s retreat from the city. At Arkadelphia another expedition into Missouri was organized, at the earnest solicitation of General Shelby, and so the raid of 1863 was inaugurated. He gained permission to select a number of men from each regiment of his division, to the number of 800. After a single day’s march they came within the enemy’s territory. Marching day and night, engaged in countless skirmishes, they reached and captured Boonville; from thence they came to Marshall, where they were surrounded by not less than 5,000 men under Ewing, Crittenden and Pleasonton. The two formed in front, the latter in the rear. After three or four hours’ fighting, Shelby determined to cut his way out, and an order to this effect was borne to Colonel Shanks by Major Edwards. The plan was successfully accomplished despite the mighty odds against them. The inequality of the forces gave especial glory to the deed.

But it is not possible in a brief sketch like this to follow the fortunes of this band of noble soldiers under so dashing and fearless a leader, in a long war. Of the scenes so tragic of this vast conflict each soldier might say with Aeneas as he recounted the miseries and the fall of Troy, to Dido and her Tyrians, until the sinking stars invited to repose “Magna Pars Fui.” Of the great contest and its strangely varied fortunes they were a great part. It was at this point in the history of this great internecine struggle that Major Edwards began to receive that military prominence he so richly deserved. As a soldier, he was not only brave and fearless, and wise in council, but gentle, tender, courteous to the humblest soldier beneath him. As he was whole-hearted in the cause he espoused, so dealt he kindly with the men that shared his convictions and the fortunes of a common cause.

I here employ the beautiful tribute of Major J. F. Stonestreet, who shared with him the vicissitudes of a long and bitter struggle. It is better said than I could say it:

A COMRADE’S TRIBUTE.

The achievements of Shelby and his men are matters of history. Of them all Major Edwards was the hero. The individual instances of his bravery in battle, his wisdom in council, his tender solicitude for his men, his self-sacrificing spirit, would fill a volume. Major J. F. Stonestreet, of this city, who was with him until he crossed the Rio Grande into Mexico, tells well the story of his part in the great struggle.

“I cannot speak of John Edwards without emotion,” he said. “He was the noblest man of the many noble men who took part in the great struggle in the West. I can not begin to tell of all the instances of his valor in .battle, his kindness in camp, his care for his comrades, his noble self-sacrifice, his great brain and noble heart. No one but those who were with him in those dark hours can appreciate his magnificent spirit. He was only a boy when he joined Gordon’s regiment, but he soon became the hero of Shelby’s old brigade. It was a grand sight to see him in battle. He was always where the fight was thickest. He was absolutely devoid of fear. The men had the confidence in him that they would have had, had he been a God. Their trust in him was sublime. He had a genius for war. While he was as brave as a lion, his courage was not of the rash, impetuous sort that led him into foolhardy under takings. His wisdom was as great as his bravery. No one appreciates more the character and achievements of General Shelby than I; but when the dark days came, it was John Edwards who, more than anybody else, inspired hope in the hearts of the men, cheered and encouraged them, and spurred them on to renewed exertions.

“This self-sacrifice was noble. I have seen him dismount and give his horse away to a tired trooper. In the hospital once I saw him take off his shirt and tear it up for bandages for the wounded, not knowing when or how he was to get another one. I have seen him take off his coat and give it to a soldier who, he thought, was more in need of it. His spirit was so gentle that it hurt him more to see others suffer than to suffer himself. What heroism he displayed in that awful retreat from Westport! Small-pox broke out among the men. John Edwards feared it as little as he did the bullets of the enemy. He would take a soldier with the small-pox in his arms, carry him to the most comfortable place that could be secured, and nurse him with the care of a woman. He would brave anything to secure a delicacy for a sick soldier. When we were eating horseflesh on that awful march, and the men were starving, naked and ready to give up, it was he who cheered and encouraged them and held them together. His heart was so big that he thought of everybody before himself.

“In battle he was a very Mars; in camp he was as gentle as a woman. The men loved him, and little wonder. He could never do enough for them. Brave men, all of them, they recognized him as the bravest and the brainiest. ‘Follow me, boys,’ I have heard him cry, ‘and I will take you where the bullets are the thickest and the sabers the sharpest,’ and then, his sword flashed in his hand, he would be off to where the fight was the hottest. And the men would be after him with a confidence and devotion that insured victory. He was the bravest man in war and the gentlest in peace that I ever saw. He was the soul of honor. He was one man in a million. He was the Chevalier Bayard of Missouri.”

Notwithstanding his intrepid bravery, Major Stonestreet says he was badly wounded but once. That was in Marmaduke’s raid on Springfield, when he was shot and taken prisoner in the fight near Hartsville. He was afterward exchanged and rejoined his regiment at Jacksonville, Ark. He especially distinguished himself for bravery and strategy in the 4th of July fight at Helena, which was in progress when Vicksburg surrendered. It was said of him that he had more horses shot from under him, and gave more horses away to those whom he thought needed them more than himself, than any man in Shelby’s brigade.

So testifies one who knew John Edwards through all the trying scenes of a contest all too bitter, and who loved him well. John Edwards was a born soldier. The genius of war and the genius of poetry alike presided at his birth. The courage of the Knight and the poesy of the Troubadour were alike his. He crowned the brow of war with golden nimbus of the poet. For his deft fingers the brand of the grizzled grenadier and the minstrel’s lute were alike fashioned. He brought the chivalry and song of the thirteenth into the Titanic struggles of the nineteenth century.

An officer once bore a report of General Shelby’s to General Holmes, who on reading it exclaimed with an impious expletive: “Why, Shelby is a poet as well as a fighter!” “No,” replied the officer, “but his Adjutant is a born poet.” It was this remarkable combination of elements in Major Edwards that made him as brave and fearless as he was tender and gentle. It also accounts for the strong, religious sentiment of his nature mentioned in a brief speech at his grave. Belief in the supernatural elements of religion and poesy go hand in hand. Goethe stated a very large and a very fundamental truth when he wrote, “Der Aberglaube ist die Poesie des Lebens“—the “overfaith, the supernatural, is the ground of life’s highest political forms.

IN MEXICO—MARRIAGE, ETC.

After the close of the war Major Edwards followed the fortunes of his old leader with others of his fellow’ soldiers into Mexico, where he spent two years, a deeply interested spectator of the affairs of Maximilian’s Empire. With this amiable, but unfortunate Prince, and with his wife the “Poor Carlotta,” he became a favorite, and through him was negotiated and obtained the grant which enabled Shelby, and perhaps fifty others, to establish the Cordova Colony of Carlotta. He and Governor Allen, of Louisiana, a man of beautiful spirit and richly stored mind, established a newspaper, The Mexican Times, devoted to the restoration of an era of peace, prosperity, and good government for this sadly distracted people. Whilst here, the material of one of his books, “An Unwritten Leaf of the War,” was produced and gathered, which appears in this present volume. What a strangely romantic period these two years must have been to the dreamy, poetic soldier of the North. The rich, tropical foliage, the skies luminously blue, the warm airs, the voluptuous climate, the romantic people inheriting the glorious traditions of Old Spain, the memories of the Cid, songs of Calderon and Lope de Vega, chanted in the sweet the Castilian tongue must have been things of ceaseless charm to the imaginative temperament so strongly marked in Major Edwards. It was a period of romantic adventure, and from time to time he has related to me singular episodes that occurred during his association with Governor Allen, but brevity denies indulgence to the reminiscent mood.

In the year 1867, having returned from Mexico, Major Edwards went on the Republican as a reporter, then under the editorial control of Col. William Hyde, a noble gentleman and an able writer, whose contributions to that great paper have rarely been equaled in western journalism. In the year 1868, in connection with the brilliant and versatile Cola John C. Moore, now of the Pueblo Dispatch, he inaugurated the Kansas City Times, with the financial support of R. B. Drury & Co. It was at this time that he was married. This marriage took place on March 28, 1871, to Mary Virginia Plattenburg, of Dover, Lafayette County, Missouri. A woman scarce less brilliant than himself, of high impulses, poetic sentiment and of an uncommon literary faculty, she was a fit companion for this molder of “fiery and delectable shapes.” They were married at the residence of Gen. John O. Shelby, near Aullville, in Lafayette County. This marriage took place away from the home of the bride because of an interposed objection on the part of the parents, grounded solely upon the near family relationship of the parties. The fruit of this marriage is two boys and one girl. The boys are John aged seventeen and James fourteen years, the girl Laura eight.

THE DUEL WITH COLONEL FOSTER.

Major Edwards remained on the Times until 1873, two years after it passed into its present management, and greatly aided in building it up into its present commanding position as director of western thought and enterprise. In this same year, he went upon the St. Louis Dispatch, owned and controlled by Mr. Stilson Hutchins, whom he followed into the St. Louis Times. It was while at work on the Times that his duel with Col. Emory S. Foster took place. The difficulty grew out of certain questions incident to the great civil struggle whose memories were yet fresh in the minds of all, and its passions still unallayed. These matters were discussed with great acerbity of temper and sharpness of expression. The acrimony engendered by a long, bitter contest, was still more or less dominant in the minds of men in all sections. It can serve no good purpose here to dwell on the questions themselves or their mode of treatment; they belong to the dead past, and there let them remain. I know that the acrimony so rife at the time of this occurrence with Major Edwards, in common with the better class of men in both sections, was a thing to be deplored and forgotten. The friends and admirers of Major Edwards are of all parties. There are no more tender or appreciative tributes to his memory than those written by the men in blue. Mrs. Edwards informs me that she has received as many expressions of sympathy and admiration from Federal as from Confederate soldiers. The perpetuation of the rancor of the war is left to the camp-follower and coward. I shall here enter on no defense of Major Edwards’ ideas on the duello. With his education, and sensitive perception of the worth of personal honor, it is easily accounted for. Omitting the offensive paragraphs we give this statement from a morning paper the day after the rencounter:

BELOIT, Wis., Sept. 4, 1875.

A duel was fought at five o’clock this afternoon, six miles north of Rockford, in Winnebago County, Illinois, between Maj. John N. Edwards, of the St. Louis Times and Dispatch, and Col. E. S. Foster, of the St. Louis Journal. The origin of the affair grew out of the recent invitation to Jefferson Davis to address the Winnebago Fair. The St. Louis Times of August the 25th contained an article written by Major Edwards, commenting upon the treatment of Mr. Davis, and reflecting upon the intolerant spirit manifested. To this the Journal replied that the writer of the Times article had lied, and knew he lied, when he wrote it.

Major Edwards took exception to this and demanded a retraction of the offensive language. Colonel Foster, the editor of the Journal, disavowed any personal allusion to Major Edwards, but declined to retract the language. A lengthy correspondence ensued, Col. H. B. Branch acting as the friend of Major Edwards, and Col. W. D. W. Barnard as the friend of Colonel Foster, the result of which is embodied in the last letters of the principals, which show the difference between them:

St. Louis, Mo., Aug. 30, 1875.

“Col. EMORY S. FOSTER:

“Sir: In reply to your letter of this date I have to state that your reply to the reasonable request I made of you, to-wit, to withdraw and to disavow all language in your editorial of the 25th inst., personally offensive to myself, is evasive and not responsive to my request. In my letter to you I referred solely to what was directly personal to myself, without inquiring whether my editorial, or yours in answer to it, exceeded the usages of the press in discussing a subject generally or referring to bodies of persons. I can not admit your right to introduce these questions into this controversy which refer solely to your allusion to the writer of the Times editorial.

“The disclaimer in the first four paragraphs of your letter would be satisfactory had you followed it up by a withdrawal of the offensive terms of your editorial, so far as they referred to me personally. But as you decline to do so I must, therefore, construe your letter of this date, and its spirit, as a refusal on your part to do me an act of common justice, and so regarding it, I deem it my duty to ask of you that satisfaction which one gentleman has a right to ask of another.

“My friend, Col. H. B. Branch, who will deliver this, is authorized to arrange with any friend you may select, the details of further arrangements connected with the subject. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. N. EDWARDS.”

St. Louis, Aug. 31, 1875.

“Col. JOHN N. EDWARDS:

“Sir: Yours of the 30th inst. was handed to my friend, W. D. W. Barnard, Esq., at 11 o’clock this A. M., by your friend, Col. H. B. Branch, and is now before me. In reply, I have to state that I emphatically disclaimed in my note of yesterday any intention of referring to you, or in any way offering to you, a personal offense in the matter in which you have raised the issue.

“My friend Mr. Barnard will have charge of my honor in the premises. I am, very respectfully. your obedient servant, EMORY S. FOSTER.”

It being found impossible, as appears from the above correspondence, to accomplish a reconciliation between the parties by a withdrawal of the offensive language, the matter passed into the hands of the seconds, Col. H. B. Branch, on the part of Major Edwards, and W. D. W. Barnard on the part of Colonel Foster.

They were to meet on the 4th day of September, 1875, between the hours of 6 and 7 A. M., or as soon thereafter as the parties could reach the grounds, in the county of Winnebago, State of Illinois. The weapons, Colt’s navy revolvers calibre 38, the distance twenty paces. Each party entitled to one shot, unless both demanded a second. The firing was to be at the words, thus: “Are you ready; one, two, three”—the firing to occur after the word “two” and not after the word “three.” The seconds were to be similarly armed, and any violation of the rules agreed upon entitled the second of the one to shoot down the offending second of the other.

Upon arriving at Rockford both parties drove to the Holland House and partook of dinner.

About 3 o’clock the seconds completed their arrangements. It was decided to drive five miles north on the Beloit road, and have the meeting in some secluded spot. Both principals agreed, and Col. Edwards’ party started off in a hack at half-past three, the understanding being for them to await the other party for half an hour after arriving as far out as designated. If the challenged party did not arrive on time it was to be regarded as an evidence of cowardice.

The Foster party caught up with the other party just as they were halting at an estimated distance from the city of five miles.

The spot where the halt was called was a shaded valley, with a winding stream called Turtle Creek, running through it. The seconds held another consultation, and, the site suiting them, they went in search of a place sufficiently far from the Beloit road to be safe from intrusion. After an absence of five minutes they were successful in their search, and on their return the whole party left the carriages. The hackmen, who were wondering what was in the wind, but had not the enterprise to gratify their curiosity, were told to wait in the neighborhood for a few minutes, which instructions they filled to the very letter. The names of the parties who went on the field were: Col. John N. Edwards, the challenging principal; Col. H. B. Branch, second; Dr. Montgomery, surgeon; Dr. Munford, of the Kansas City Times, friend; Major Foster, principal; W. D. W. Barnard, second; Dr. P.S. O’Reilly, surgeon, and the representative of the Tribune, friend.

The spot selected was a couple of hundred yards to the west of the road, a beautifully shaded valley in which horses and cattle were grazing. The seconds took up position near a tree and commenced to examine the weapons. The principals were a few yards apart, Foster reclining on a bank, coolly smoking a cigar, Edwards resting with his back against a tree and conversing with Dr. Munford, with whom he served in the Confederate army. The surgeons took their cases of instruments to the hill-side, where they sat watching the preparations for the encounter. Some time was occupied in the examination and loading of the pistols, and while the necessary part of the work was in progress, the principals each divested himself of his watch and other articles which might turn off a bullet. The next procedure was to measure the ground, a matter which was gone through with business-like dispatch and coolness. Twenty paces was the distance. The positions were north and south, and were marked by a short stake driven into the ground. Branches of trees were cleared out of the way to prevent injury from falls, and other details attended to which might render things comfortable for the parties immediately interested. The next important step was to toss up for position and the call. Branch, Edward’s second, won the choice of position, and Barnard the call. This fact was communicated to the principals, who expressed themselves satisfied with the result. The principals and seconds then walked up the ground. Edwards asked Foster’s opinion as to position, but the latter said he had no choice. They both received their weapons from the seconds and Edwards chose the south end of the ground. Before the final arrangements were completed, the friends were requested to relieve themselves of their pistols, a precaution against a general skirmish should either party feel aggrieved. Dr. Munford was the only one who had a pistol on his person, and he at once placed it in his valise. The conditions of the fight were then read. Edwards requested Barnard to articulate the words, “Are you ready? one, two, three,” in a distinct manner, so as to prevent unpleasant haste. Both men at this point displayed marvelous nerve, Foster smoking his cigar in an unconcerned way. Positions were then taken up, the seconds shaking hands with their principals, and receiving instructions in case they should fall. At length all was ready. The seconds had pistols in their hands ready to revenge any infringements of the code. There was an ominous pause. At exactly 5 o’clock the men faced each other and took mental aim; then came the words, “Are you ready?” in clear, distinct tones: “one, two.” Before the word three the duelists fired almost simultaneously. The surgeons anxiously looked each to his man, expecting him to fall, but neither was wounded. “A little high!” exclaimed Foster, as soon as he had fired. Edwards demanded another fire, in an excited tone. His second asked if he would adhere to that resolution. “Yes,” he replied, “it is just as I told you before we came on the field. I will go on if it takes a thousand fires; “and with this remark he sat down on the grass. Foster declined another fire. He was the challenged party, and felt no bitterness against his antagonist. Therefore he was not anxious for blood. His honor had been sustained as the challenged party. Shots had been exchanged, and that was all that was necessary. Barnard went to talk with Edwards, who was heard to say: ” I have admitted as much as I can do—have received no satisfaction to take with me.” After the interchange of a few words, Edwards concluded to make the thing up. He approached Foster and shook hands. There was mutual congratulation all round, and it was interesting to see the brotherly love displayed by the men, who two minutes before, had faced each other with death in their eyes. The genial Bourbon was produced, and the agreeable termination to the affair toasted. A short time was spent on the grass in mutual explanation, and everything was forgotten and forgiven. The parties then returned to their hacks, one shaping toward Beloit and the other to Rockford, which place they left in the evening, but for what point the reporter failed to ascertain.

Apprehending a possible fatal result, Major Edwards wrote the following note to his friend, Dr. Morrison Munford, who was present. It was written at the Tremont House, Chicago, and bears no date, and written in pencil on a leaf torn from a note-book which he carried in his pocket. The note needs no comment—it carries its own:

Dear Morry: A little farewell I want to speak to you. I have but three thoughts: my wife, my two children. When you can help my wife in her pride—help her. It aint much—only it is so much to me. Your friend,

J. N. EDWARDS.

This note is a revelation of the character of the relations between these two men, and shows how implicitly he relied upon the loyalty and steadfastness of Dr. Munford’s friendship—the one man of all others upon whom he called in his supposed extremity. John Edwards knew the man he calls “Dear Morry” as perhaps no other man did, and he trusted him. And now, the “little farewell” has been spoken, and the memory of a brave soul is left to men.

JOURNALIST AND AUTHOR.

After his withdrawal from the St. Louis Times he started to Santa Fe, to engage in sheep-raising, but visiting Dover to make his farewells, he was dissuaded from the undertaking, and remained at the home of his wife’s father, Judge J. S. Plattenburg, and wrote the “Noted Guerrillas,” a wonderful record of the border warfare. Subsequently he went to Sedalia, taking editorial charge of the Democrat. Retiring from this paper he started the Dispatch, which had a brief, but singularly brilliant career. He was then called to the editorial management of the St. Joseph Gazette, by the late Col. J. N. Burnes, the owner of the paper. Again, in 1887, he was recalled to the editorial chair of the Kansas City Times, which place he held at the time of his death. One needs but to read the numerous press tributes to know how exceedingly brilliant his editorial career has been. His style, bright and full of poetic forms, was forceful, vigorous and convincing; as flashing and as keen as the scimitar of Saladdin. Many of the passages in this book bear critical comparison with the most beautiful passages of classic English. The exuberance of expression and prodigality of beautiful words in the compositions of Major Edwards have occasionally led men to overlook or underestimate the more solid aspects of his mind. His historical and general knowledge was very great; his familiarity with the best specimens of Classic English in both prose and poetry was something wonderful in both accuracy and comprehensiveness. The opportunities of a student’s life were never within his reach, and yet he knew vastly more of books than most men who had been patient toilers over their pages through continuous years. To the ordinary mind it was wholly inexplicable, how or when he obtained such stores of rich and varied knowledge. His work was a remarkable blending of fact and fancy, of cogent reasoning and vivid poetic expression. A rare combination of powers. There are many gradgrinds, but few poets to clothe the hard facts of life in the aureole of imperishable beauty. The words necessary to describe fitly the dauntless courage, the greatness of soul, the tenderness surpassing that of woman, characterizing the life of John Edwards, would, to those who little knew him, seem fulsome and extravagant. But not so to his friends who knew him. Some of the virtues of Major Edwards were so intense in their expression as to seem almost weaknesses. He never talked of himself. There was not a single shred of the braggart in his nature. He was reticent of his own deeds to the verge of eccentricity. He seemed to be wholly unambitious, free, even from a suspicion of egotism. A strongly marked instance of this is shown in the fact in three books of which he is the real hero, not once is illusion made to himself. I fully agree with his devoted friend, Dr. Munford, that such a repression of self, under such circumstances, is simply without a parallel. I have known but one other man well, in Missouri, who even nearly equaled the modesty, the unselfish self-forgetfulness of John Edwards. That man was the prince of orators, whose soldiery skill wrote his name beside that of Xenophon, viz. Gen. A. W. Doniphan. For all meretricious methods, for every form of pretense, for merely dramatic effect, John Edwards entertained the harshest scorn. Sham and cant that sniveled, stirred his gentle nature into holiest and hottest wrath, and he wove around its victim the network of scathing lampoon that burned like the shirt of Nessus. Trickery, deceit and cowardice alone made him pitiless. That he was unselfish is clearly manifested in this fact, that his great influence, and surely no single man in all the State had so large a personal following whose devotion was a passion, was never employed to advance his own financial interest or to win place for himself. His influence was always for his friends. The witnesses are everywhere, in every walk of life. Men in high places; and low alike, bear testimony to his unselfish work for every comer. He showed me once a letter from a poor Irishman, asking his assistance to procure a position on the police force of St. Louis, and it was granted as readily as to a seeker of the highest place and power. Of his carelessness of self-advancement and his unceasing thought of other people, this circumstance is recalled. He, the writer, and an old soldier, grim and gray, in stature a very son of Anak, stood together. These two men had ridden into battle as joyously as the groom seeks his bride. And now in the days of peace, the grizzled soldier asks: “John, wouldn’t you make a good governor?” Promptly the answer came: “No, but I know who would.” The swart grenadier asks: “Who?” It is not needful to give the party named, beyond this: that he represented his district in Congress, and wore for years stainlessly the judicial ermine of his State. I reconsider, and give the name of Elijah Norton, the able jurist, the distinguished publicist and reproachless gentleman.

HIS DEATH.

Major Edwards was ill as early as the Wednesday prior to his death, but his demise at last was sudden and unexpected by his friends. The immediate cause of his death was inanition of the cardiac nerves. In the morning early he read part of a late paper. No one witnessed his death, but Thomas, a colored servant, and his little daughter Laura, aged eight years. His sons were at St. Mary’s College, Kansas, and Mrs. Edwards, worn out from loss of rest, had retired to another room. He seemed to have some premonition that the end was near, as three different times he asked Thomas to call Mrs. Edwards. The boy not realizing the Major’s condition, said, “no let Mrs. Edwards rest.” The child was playing with a bubble-pipe, and about ten minutes before death he blew a bubble, and said “Laura, always remember that papa bought you that pipe” evidently from this he knew the end had come. The little girl stood by the bedside wiping the chill death dew from her father’s brow, as his soul took its mysterious flight to that “bourne whence no traveler returns.” Mrs. Edwards and Major Bittinger entered the room together, just as life’s bound was reached. Soon it was noised abroad, and produced a profound sensation in all parts of the city. Says one:

The news soon spread throughout the city, and there was universal expression of profound sorrow. Major Edwards had been a frequent visitor to the capital, attending all the sessions of the Legislature for the past eighteen years, and all Democratic conventions held during that time. He was known to a majority of the members of the General Assembly, to the State officials and to the people generally. As soon as his death was announced, groups of men could be seen on the principal streets, discussing the sad event, and at the capitol half of the members of the Senate and House at once left their seats and gathered in the lobby and adjoining rooms. Republicans and Democrats alike expressed the deepest sorrow for his sudden and untimely death, and the highest sympathy for his bereaved family. During the recess at noon nothing else was talked about among the crowds at the various hotels but the death of the brilliant journalist.

RESOLUTIONS OF RESPECT.

At the afternoon session of the Senate, Senator McGrath, of St. Louis, offered the following resolution:

WHEREAS, The Senate of Missouri, with profound regret, have learned of the death of one of Missouri’s greatest and most distinguished citizens, Major John N. Edwards; therefore, be it

Resolved, That in respect to his memory the Senate now adjourn.

After a few appropriate remarks by Senator Moran, of St. Joseph, the resolution was unanimously adopted and the Senate adjourned. In the House, Hon. Lysander A. Thompson, of Macon, offered a similar resolution, which was unanimously adopted and the House adjourned. This evening a great number of the members of the Senate and House visited the McCarty House to take a last look at the features of the dead journalist.

In addition to the action of the Senate and House of Representatives as a mark of respect to the memory of the dead journalist, the local newspaper men and newspaper correspondents met at the Tribune office this afternoon, and a committee consisting of Walter M. Monroe, of the Tipton Times, W. A. Edwards, of the St. Joseph Gazette, and C. B. Oldham, of the Jefferson City Tribune, were appointed to draft suitable memorial resolutions to the memory of the deceased journalist. The committee reported the following:

Maj. John N. Edwards was born in Virginia about fifty-one years ago. His parents moved to Lexington, Mo., when he was of tender age. He received a common school education and afterward learned the printing trade in an office at Lexington. At the commencement of the Civil War he enlisted in the Confederate army and belonged to Gen. Jo. O. Shelby’s command. He was promoted time and again for skill and personal bravery, and won his military titles in the most honorable manner possible. He was engaged in more than fifty battles and skirmishes, and was severely wounded on more than one occasion. As the war drew to a close he followed Shelby and Price to Texas, and about the time peace was declared a small fragment of Shelby’s command, known as the “Iron Brigade,” sank the flag—the blood-stained flag which they had carried through the war—in the Rio Grande River, crossed the line into Mexico, and for thirteen months served in the French army. Later, Major Edwards returned to Missouri and published several books, one relating to the border warfare in Missouri, Texas and Arkansas, another entitled “Shelby and his Men.” He soon after engaged in newspaper editorial work, first in St. Louis, next in Sedalia, then in St. Joseph and Kansas City, respectively. He was for a time editor of the Dispatch and Times in St. Louis, edited the Sedalia Democrat and Dispatch, later the St. Joseph Gazette, and at the time of his death was editor of the Kansas City Times. No writer in the West was better known than Major Edwards. He followed no man. Every idea he advanced was original, and every thought he expressed in. print was copied far and wide. He had no superior in the newspaper field and but few peers. He was honest and fearless, and never published a line in public prints which he did not believe to be the truth, and for which he would not answer personally at all times. We, representatives of the western press, recognize in his death an irreparable loss. He was brave and generous in war, and fearless and honest in civil life, and liberal to a fault—an affectionate husband and a kind father. We believe that his death has left a vacancy in Missouri journalism that can never be filled. His death is a calamity to the press of the State. As an original writer and conscientious literary man, he never had a superior. He was brave and magnanimous in health, and fearless and resigned when the final summons came. Resolutions can not express our opinion of his ability and fearlessness. He lived the life of a patriotic American, and died the death of a brave, conscientious newspaper man.

Augustine Gallagher, Kansas City Journal, president.

W. A. Edwards, St. Joseph Gazette, secretary.

C. B. Oldham, Tribune, chairman committee.

Walt M. Monroe, Tipton Times.

Walter Sander, Westliche Post.

John Meagher, St. Louis Globe-Democrat.

A. C. Lemmon, Post-Dispatch.

W. M. Smith, St. Louis Republic.

W. N. Graham, Sedalia Gazette.

J. H. Edwards, Tribune.

W. A. Curry, Kansas City Times.

W. J. Cambliss, Higginsville Advance.

John W. Jacks, Montgomery Standard.

A. A. Lesueur, Lexington Intelligencer.

Walter Williams, Boonville Advertiser.

Immediately on the announcement of Major Edwards’ death, Col. A. C. Dawes telegraphed General Manager Clark of the Missouri Pacific, and received a reply that he would place his special car at his disposal to convey the remains of the dead journalist and his family to Dover, Lafayette County, where it had been decided he should be buried. The pall-bearers are: ex-Governor Charles P. Johnson, Dr. Morrison Munford, Maj. J. L. Bittinger, Darwin W. Marmaduke, J. F. Merryman and Col. Thomas P. Hoy.

Captain Lesueur, Secretary of State, gives the following account of the journey from Jefferson City to Dover:

THE FUNERAL JOURNEY.

The death of Maj. John N. Edwards, from heart disease, took place at the McCarty House, in Jefferson City, at 9:40 A. M., Saturday, May 4th. It is not too much to say that it created a profound sensation throughout the city. No man in Missouri was so well known as he to its

public men. In Jefferson City he was known by everybody, and his friends were numbered by the limit of his acquaintance. Republicans as well as Democrats were his warm admirers, and the humblest negro that knew him loved him.

It is safe to say that no funeral that has occurred at Dover for many years has created a more profound impression upon the public mind than did that of Major Edwards. There he learned to know his beloved commander, Gen. Joseph O. Shelby, and many of the brave and daring soldier boys whose firmness in battle and endurance on the march gained for the old brigade that renown which he afterward immortalized in most poetic prose. There, too, he wooed and won his bride, a fair, gray-eyed Southern lassie, as full of impulse and romance as himself, a woman of ideals and poesy perhaps, but a brave and true-hearted woman who stood by him always, in weal and in woe, in joy and affliction, and was ever his ministering angel, his comfort and his solace. O, yes, Dover had many ties upon the heart of Major Edwards, and to the good people of the vicinity, a steady, God-fearing people, but a people of leisure, who read and preserve a touch of the romance of the days of Coeur de Lion, of Bruce and of McGregor, John Edwards was the embodiment of all that was chivalric and poetic. They ever followed from journal to journal his gifted pen, and he was nearer and dearer to them than he was to many with whom he came in daily contact out in the busy, active world. And they were there to put all that was mortal of him away in its last resting place with their own loving hands. Their wives and daughters were there, too, to add their tears to those of the stricken wife and children. As the numerous. assemblage encircled the grave, grief and sorrow written upon every face, the scene was one to immortalize the painter who could have seized it and put it on canvas. There was the evidence of an unusual depth of feeling and regret even for such an occasion.

From the moment of his death until his remains were taken from the train, there was a constant stream of sad and sorrowing friends passing in and out of the corridor, all intent upon hearing the particulars of his dying hours, upon looking just once more at his familiar features, upon expressing grief at his loss and of sympathy with his bereaved wife and children. At 12:30 on Sunday the funeral procession formed at the hotel to go to the depot, where the train was waiting. First, came a long line of gentlemen on foot, led by Governor Francis, and composed of senators, members of the house of representatives, and many others. By the side of the hearse were the pall-bearers—Dr. Morrison Munford, Col. D. W. Marmaduke, Hon. J. Frank Merriman, Maj. John L. Bittinger, Col. T. P. Hoy and Capt. A. A. Lesueur; after them came the family and other friends in carriages. At Tipton a special train furnished by the courtesy of S. H. Clark, Esq., at the request of Col. A. C. Dawes, awaited the funeral party, which was composed of Mrs. Edwards, Miss Ella McCarty, her near friend, all of the pallbearers (except Col. Marmaduke), Rev. Peter Trone, and Messrs. George and Walter Plattenburg. At Boonville they were joined by Hon. Thomas Cranmer, and at Marshall by Elder George Plattenburg and Mr. Yerbey. The train reached the Dover depot at about 6:30 p. m., where it was met by a number of the citizens of the place, and by the following named gentlemen, who acted as actual pall-bearers: John Allen Harwood, E. S. Van Anglen, Dr. E. R. Meng, R. T. Koontz, James F. Winn and George B. Gordon. The casket was deposited at the Plattenburg mansion, Mrs. Edwards’ girlhood home, until 10 o’clock the next morning, when the burial took place in the village cemetery. The whole country-side had turned out.

The train arrived as above, at Dover, 6:40 p. m. Sunday, May 5th. The following day, May 6th, he was borne to his last resting place. The burial is thus described by the Kansas City Times, the paper he started, and at whose helm he gallantly and dauntlessly stood through many a storm:

THE LAST SLEEP.

[Special to the Kansas City Times.]

HIGGINSVILLE, Mo., May 6th.—In the old cemetery, just at the outskirts of the little town of Dover, ten miles from here, the body of John N. Edwards was buried this morning. It is a quiet, secluded spot, where the rumble of wagon wheels in the road near by are the only sounds, save the singing of birds, heard from one year’s end to the other—just the place where one with Major Edwards’ love of nature and the beautiful would desire to lie in his last long sleep. And it was his wish, frequently expressed, that he should be buried there. It is within easy view from the old Plattenburg homestead, where his wife spent her girlhood and he wooed and won her, and from which his body was carried to its last resting place this morning. From the windows the tombstones which mark the graves of the former residents of Dover are plainly visible. The whole scene is a pretty rural one, the scattering houses of Dover giving it just enough of an urban aspect to soften its outlines without destroying its primitive beauty. It was no wonder that one with the poetic temperament and chivalrous ideals of Major Edwards should choose the old Dover cemetery as his burial place, even if his early days had not endeared it to him.

The special train—which was kindly furnished by the Missouri Pacific—bearing the body, the wife and little daughter of Major Edwards, the pall-bearers and friends, arrived at Dover from Jefferson City, Sunday night at 6:40. The pall-bearers were Maj. John L. Bittinger of St. Joseph; Dr. Morrison Munford, Hon. J. F. Merryman, Rev. Peter Trone of Clinton; Col. T. P. Hoy and Secretary of State A. A. Lesueur. Miss Ella McCarty of Jefferson City; Messrs. George and Walter Plattenburg of Kansas City; brothers of Mrs. Edwards, and Mr. Thomas Cranmer, sheriff of Cooper County, were among the party that came from Jefferson City.

The body was at once taken from the station to the residence of Mrs. L. C. Plattenburg, Mrs. Edward’s mother.

THE LAST SAD LOOK.

At 8:30 this morning the casket was opened, and the citizens of Dover and the people from the country for miles around, filed in to take a last look at the face which was loved throughout the length and breadth of Lafayette County, where he passed his early life, and from which he went to make a name that was honored and loved wherever it was known. Moist eyes of strong men gave evidence of the sincere affection with which the dead soldier and journalist had been regarded. Many of the men who passed had seen him go out to battle in the pride of his youthful strength, and they said that after many years the face was not changed as much as might have been expected. The features were life-like and the expression peaceful. “He looks as if he were sleeping,” many remarked.

The greater part of the five or six hundred people who viewed the corpse came from Lexington, Higginsville, Corder and the neighboring towns. There had been a misunderstanding as to the time the funeral would take place, and many persons from Higginsville, Corder and other

places had driven over Sunday. This and the comparative inaccessibility of Dover kept many persons away who had desired to be present. Nevertheless the little town could not have accommodated many more strangers.

There were no services at the house. At 10 o’clock the casket was closed. In addition to the pall-bearers who had accompanied the body from Jefferson City, Mr. John Allen Harwood, E. S. Van Anglen, E. R. Meng, R. I. Koontz, James F. Winn, and George B. Gordon of Dover, had been selected. They carried the casket to the hearse, which had been sent from Lexington. Besides Mrs. Edwards and her two sons and daughter, the members of the family who were present were J. Q. Plattenburg, H. W. Plattenburg, H. Y. Plattenburg, George Plattenburg, and W. L. Plattenburg, brothers of Mrs. Edwards; Mrs. L. C. Plattenburg, her mother and Miss

Eula Plattenburg, her sister. Mrs. Thomas Yerby, with whom Major Edwards lived when he was a boy, and learned to set type, also followed the body to the grave. Mr. Wiley O. Cog, of Kansas City, was in one of the carriages. The procession was a long one, but the distance from the house to the cemetery was short.

THE PREACHER’S TRIBUTE.

The services at the grave were simple, as Major Edwards had wished them to be. They were conducted by Rev. George Plattenburg, a cousin of Mrs. Edwards. He spoke feelingly and every word was listened to intently. His address was substantially as follows:

Twenty-eight years ago, when General Shelby was the captain of a single company, composed largely of the flower of the youth of this immediate vicinity, Major Edwards came to my home in Little Rock, Arkansas, accompanied by Yandell Blackwell, a soldier and gentleman from spur to plume. From that day to this my intercourse with Mayor Edwards has been of a most intimate character. I have never met a more rarely gifted or nobler man. His knowledge of men and books was simply wonderful. When and how he gained this great and varied knowledge was to me, a close student of books for more than forty years, still more wonderful, engaged as he was continuously in great active interests, and involved in the stress of vast political contests. A great journal of yesterday morning spoke of him as only a poet. If by this was meant that he was only a maker of rhythmic phrases, or the framer of melodious sentences, the statement was scarcely just. His was the wonderful and acute insight of the true poetic faculty into the great problems of human life and action and destiny—the faculty that intuitively penetrates the reason of things. In this sense he was a poet. These things he clothed in the poet’s glowing words, in striking and ofttimes surprisingly beautiful forms of speech. In his best moods he threw off passages of rare charm, not surpassed, if equaled, anywhere in the vast field of American journalism.

It was not the splendor of his intellect, the marvelous grace of his diction, or the unequaled mastery of scintillant and forceful words, that bound John Edwards to his friends, but his greatness of heart, his sweet, gentle and unselfish nature. In a long intercourse with men of all ranks and conditions, professions and trades, I have met no man so free from all ignoble and selfish impulses. His wide influence was never used for his own gain or personal advancement, but always for that of others. Those debtor to John Edwards in this regard may be counted by hundreds. A journalist, and now a State official said to me years ago, “he asks for himself, never; for others, always.” A great, loyal, loving and unselfish heart was his. God rarely makes a man like him. Fitly might the Recording Angel write of him, Abou Ben Adhem’s prayer, “write me as one that loves his fellow men.”

Whatever the infirmities of gentle and gifted John Edwards, there was in him a strong religious sentiment. I do not mean religious as defined by books, or as formulated in creeds, but in the acceptance and reverent holding of those great truths that lie behind all formulated systems and of which organized religions are the product. That Infinite Being, forming the primary religious concept of primitive peoples, the Jehovah of the Hebrew records, the “Heaven-Father” of the Vedic hymns, which Max Muller says formed humanity’s first poem and first articulate prayer, and as exalted by the great Master in that universal prayer: “Our Father who art in Heaven,” he

recognized and looked up to with the trust of a child. In addition to this as a necessary sequence, he accepted unfalteringly the doctrine of the soul’s immortality as the sole basis of a hope that can gladden and sweeten the labor of stricken men. Once as I sat by his bedside at the McCarty House, late in the night, turning suddenly to me after a lull in our talk, he asked: “Do you ever go down to the great river that flows near your home, and sitting beneath the midnight stars listen to the solemn swish of the onsweeping mysterious stream, and think of the vast things that lie beyond the river and beyond the stars?” From this we drifted into a discussion of the largest problems with which the soul has to do; the questions of action and destiny. Then, more than ever before or after, John Edwards revealed to me the secrets of his immost life. He felt as the Laureate sings:

My own dim-life should teach me this,

That life shall live forever more,

Else earth is darkness at the core,

And dust and ashes all that is.

This round of green, this orb of flame,

Fantastic beauty, such as lurks

In some wild poet as he works

Without a conscience or an aim.

To-day, from every part of the great Southwest, the scarred veterans of the “lost cause,” will turn with tearful eyes to this village graveyard, where we reverently and lovingly lay their old companion in arms, so brilliant in intellect, so noble in heart, so gentle and generous, so pure and chivalrous in every impulse. May the smile of God rest upon this village grave as a perpetual benediction.

In the quiet, quaint little village of Dover, whose people removed, “Far from the maddening crowd’s ignoble strife,” pursue the even tenor of their way, on a gentle declivity leaning to the kiss of southern suns, a sheltered, sequestered spot, fit place of rest after life’s “fitful fever,” lies the village graveyard. Here:

“The sacred calm that reigns around,

Bids every fierce tumultuous passion cease;

In still small accents whispering from the ground

A grateful earnest of eternal peace.”

In this retired spot reverent hands laid all that remained of gifted John Edwards. The voice, that oft within the “battle’s red rim,” shouted, “Steady, Men,” is hushed. The eye that flashed with steely glitter, as it saw the setting and onset of squadrons, but so gently limpid in repose, is closed forever. The blare of bugles, the cannon’s roar, the rush of armed fleet and the voice of love are now alike unheard. The fearless soldier, the brilliant journalist, the loyal friend, the dreamer of sweet dreams, by his own request lies quietly among the village dead, apart from the stress of enterprise and the coldness of greed. Above the narrow, dreamless abode of the great heart now pulseless, the leaves shimmer in soft light, the fragrance of flowers lingers above the turf lovingly, and the sweet May stars distill their dews to keep the grasses green. In his own words, written of “Prince” John B. Magruder’s lone Texas grave, we may say, “If roses are the tear drops of angels as the beautiful Arab belief puts forth in poetry, then is this lowly mound a hallowed spot, and needs not the sculptured stone, the fretted column and the obelisk.” Few men have been so admired, or so mourned. At his grave, old, scarred soldiers, unused to tears wept like girls. Friends, kindred, his children grieved, but a larger grief was hers, whom he wooed and won with knightly devotion in the summer days long ago. She, sitting within the mysterious shadow of the “Spheral Change, by men called death,” can only sing with Dante Rossetti, in mournful questioning:

“O nearest, furthest! Can there be

At length some hard-earned, heart-won home,

Where exile changed for sanctuary.

Our lot may fill indeed its sum,

And you may wait and I may come.”

War Experiences of Bettie Shelby

WAR EXPERIENCES

By Mrs. Bettie Shelby, widow of General Shelby.

The accounts of the women of Civil War Missouri are more rare than those of the men but often give greater insights into the war on the homefront. This was not a war fought only on distant battlefields but right within the homes and communities of the people of Missouri. The women were vital participants on both sides of the conflict. They showed a stoutness of spirit and resolution equal to that of any battlefield warrior. In Missouri Rebel women were material participants as couriers, spies, in providing aid and succor to the men operating behind the lines.

Bettie Shelby, wife of Missouri Confederate General Joseph O. Shelby remained behind for a time, then followed her husband south in his camps. After the war she followed her husband into Mexican exile. The account she gives here of her wartime experience is scanty and barely touches upon the many adventures and experiences she had during the war.

A fictional account (though based on solid research) of Bettie Shelby’s wartime experiences are told in “Save Weeping For the Night” by Loula Grace Erdman, who grew up in Lafayette County, home of the Shelbys. The book is, unfortunately, out of print, but copies are available used from ABEBOOKS. Just click “go” on the search box to see available listings.



The early years of the war between the states found me, still a girl in years, with two children, as I had married at the early age of sixteen.

General JO ShelbyGeneral Shelby, who had refused many tempting offers to join the Federal army, organized a company from the flower of Howard county, and proceeded to join General Price at Springfield. Myself and children were left under the protection of an aunt, a high-spirited woman, who had sent several sons to the southern army, and when taxed by the Federals with furnishing altogether too many rebel soldiers, she boldly retorted that if she had a hundred sons they would all be there. Many threats were made to burn out this nest of rebels. Frequently as many as twenty-five soldiers would appear and order a meal of the best we could produce, which we dared not refuse, else our smokehouses would have been raided and nothing left to us.

My aunt provided a cot and nursed for several weeks, in the brush, one of our men who had been badly wounded. A surgeon came surreptitiously in the night and set a broken bone. My aunt went every day and dressed the wound and sent him food. We were in daily terror lest the negroes should betray him, but they never did, and he recovered and joined the army. On another occasion two of our men were secreted under a dormer window in the top of the house. They had been traced there, and the Federals threatened to burn down the house if they were not produced. Had they carried out their threats our friends would have been shot down in endeavoring to escape. Soon, however, we had to leave our homes, and finally when General Shelby’s raids became more frequent hail to leave the state. We first went to St. Louis, where we were somewhat protected because of the relationship, between General Shelby and Frank Blair, but the authorities feeling that Shelby’s raids would be less frequent if his family was out of the state, we were completely banished. I went to my husband’s relatives in Kentucky. Later, when General Steele was operating in Arkansas and Louisiana, I started in company with another lady, accompanied by our colored maids, for the south. It was suggested that our nurses might desert us on occasion, consequently we had their trunks placed in close touch with us as a precaution after boarding one of the river boats for Memphis. As our maids did not appear as usual in the morning our first move was to see if the trunks were still there. They were gone. And we were left to battle with the babies as best we could. On arriving at Memphis we were held for three weeks at a hotel. We suffered untold trials getting through the lines at all as there was fierce fighting raging around Little Rock and vicinity. We were finally, in company with other refugee families from Missouri, placed at Clarksville. Tex., where we remained until the close of the war.

General Shelby and his men decided to go to Mexico instead of surrendering at the close of the war. I accompanied him as far as Austin, Tex., but as Federal troops were already approaching Texas, and they might be captured before reaching the border of Mexico, it was decided to push on rapidly, and I was left to follow them by another route. My husband met me at Veracruz, near where he was trying to start a colony. This enterprise was finally abandoned, as the Mexicans made it so disagreeable for us by shooting into our camps, etc. I will mention an incident which has been questioned:

As Shelby’s command could not carry the Confederate flag into Mexico, a consultation was held, and it was decided that they should bury it beneath the waters of the Rio Grande, which they did. I have heard General Shelby speak of this disposition of the flag frequently as a matter of fact.

The soldiers all gradually drifted back to the old homes, or rather where they had stood, but where now was nothing but ruin. We now settled in Bates county, where we reared a large family of children and lived happily until my husband passed away. He left me several sons and one daughter to mourn his loss. Yearly at the memorial services in the beautiful Forest Hill cemetery may be seen, in company with the family, an aged faithful body servant, now the coachman, paying a beautiful tribute in flowers to his former master.


Aftermath of the Lawrence Massacre

The Aftermath of the Lawrence Massacre
by Lt. Gen. John M. Schofield, USA

Excerpted and introduced by G. E. Rule

from “Forty-Six Years in the Army”, by John M. Schofield, 1897

Lt Gen SchofieldJohn M. Schofield had a busy war, rising from lieutenant on leave of absence in the spring of 1861 to Lieutenant-General by the end of the war. Schofield was Nathaniel Lyon’s mustering officer in April of 1861, adjutant at Wilson’s Creek, commander of the Department of Missouri, corps commander under Sherman on the drive to Atlanta, army commander at the battle of Franklin, TN, and then rejoined Sherman in time to help negotiate the surrender of Joe Johnston’s army after Washington had rejected the original terms.

“The Aftermath of the Lawrence Massacre” is Schofield’s rather odd account of the Union reaction in Missouri and Kansas immediately following the bushwhackers’ sack of Lawrence. There is no actual account included of the attack on Lawrence, and Schofield introduces the topic as an aspect of the internecine strife in Union circles in Missouri and Kansas between the “claybanks” (conservatives) and “charcoals” (radicals). Schofield seems to be taking pains to show that he did what he could to blunt the worst of the retribution that Unionists were demanding after Lawrence. He even implies near the end that his moderating of the radicals planned revenge nearly resulted in a civil war within the Civil War –this one between radical and conservative Unionists.

Perhaps the most eye-opening aspect of the whole account is his take on the cause of the Lawrence Massacre. While he does not go into the details that any good Missouri Rebel can recite by heart—including the horror of the Kansas City jail collapse that killed or injured many southern ladies and children, driving their bushwhacker men-folk wild with a flaming desire for retribution—Schofield clearly attributes Lawrence to the recent change in Union policy towards these southern hostages. Even more, he reports to his superiors that he warned Ewing that something of the like might happen. Schofield says: “Accordingly I directed General Ewing to adopt and carry out the policy he had indicated, warning him, however, of the retaliation which might be attempted, and that he must be fully prepared to prevent it before commencing such severe measures. Almost immediately after it became known that such policy had been adopted, Quantrill secretly assembled from several of the border counties of Missouri about 300 of his men.” While not as fulsome an admission as a Confederate partisan would prefer, Schofield is essentially agreeing with them.


Further Reading:

Available at Amazon.com

Forty-Six Years in the Army by John McAllister Schofield

Lyon’s adjutant at Wilson’s Creek, and Union commander of Missouri for much of the war, Schofield’s memoirs are an important addition for anyone interested in Missouri during the war.

My impression is that the nature of this quarrel in Missouri was not fully understood at the time in Washington, as General Halleck wrote me that neither of the factions was regarded as really friendly to the President. But my belief is that they were then, as they subsequently proved to be, divided on the Presidential question as well as in State politics; that the conservatives were sincere in their friendship and support of Mr. Lincoln, and desired his renomination, while the radicals were intriguing for Mr. Chase or some other more radical man.

This struggle between extreme radicalism and conservatism among the Union people of Missouri was long and bitter, but I have nothing to do with its history beyond the period of my command in that department. It resulted, as is now well known, in the triumph of radicalism in the Republican party, and the consequent final loss of power by that party in the State. Such extremes could not fail to produce a popular revulsion, and it required no great foresight to predict the final result.

The factions in Missouri gave the military commander trouble enough in 1863; but to that was added the similar and hardly less troublesome party quarrel in Kansas. I cannot give a more accurate account of the complicated situation there than by quoting from my correspondence and journal of that period. On August 28 [1863] I wrote to President Lincoln as follows:

In reply to your telegram of the 27th, transmitting copy of one received from two influential citizens of Kansas, I beg leave to state some of the facts connected with the horrible massacre at Lawrence, and also relative to the assaults made upon me by a certain class of influential politicians.

Since the capture of Vicksburg, a considerable portion of the rebel army in the Mississippi valley has disbanded, and large numbers of men have come back to Missouri, many of them doubtless in the hope of being permitted to remain at their former homes in peace, while some have come under instructions to carry on a guerrilla warfare, and others, men of the worst character, become marauders on their own account, caring nothing for the Union, nor for the rebellion, except as the latter affords them a cloak for their brigandage.

Under instructions from the rebel authorities, as I am informed and believe, considerable bands, called “Border Guards,” were organized in the counties of Missouri bordering on Kansas, for the ostensible purpose of protecting those counties from inroads from Kansas, and preventing the slaves of rebels from escaping from Missouri into Kansas. These bands were unquestionably encouraged, fed, and harbored by a very considerable portion of the people of those border counties. Many of those people were in fact the families of these “bushwhackers,” who are brigands of the worst type.

Upon the representation of General Ewing and others familiar with the facts, I became satisfied there could be no cure for this evil short of the removal from those counties of all slaves entitled to their freedom, and of the families of all men known to belong to these bands, and others who were known to sympathize with them. Accordingly I directed General Ewing to adopt and carry out the policy he had indicated, warning him, however, of the retaliation which might be attempted, and that he must be fully prepared to prevent it before commencing such severe measures.

Lawrence Ruins from HarpersAlmost immediately after it became known that such policy had been adopted, Quantrill secretly assembled from several of the border counties of Missouri about 300 of his men. They met at a preconcerted place of rendezvous near the Kansas line, at about sunset, and immediately marched for Lawrence, which place they reached at daylight the next morning. They sacked and burned the town and murdered the citizens in the most barbarous manner.

It is easy to see that any unguarded town in a country where such a number of outlaws can be assembled is liable to a similar fate, if the villains are willing to risk the retribution which must follow. In this case 100 of them have already been slain, and the remainder are hotly pursued in all directions. If there was any fault on the part of General Ewing, it appears to have been in not guarding Lawrence. But of this it was not my purpose to speak. General Ewing and the governor of Kansas have asked for a court of inquiry, and I have sent to the War Department a request that one may be appointed, and I do not wish to anticipate the result of a full investigation. . . .

I am officially informed that a large meeting has been held at Leavenworth, in which a resolution was adopted to the effect that the people would assemble at a certain place on the border, on September 8, for the purpose of entering Missouri to search for their stolen property. Efforts have been made by the mayor of Leavenworth to get possession of the ferry at that place, for the purpose of crossing armed parties of citizens into north Missouri.

I have strong reasons for believing that the authors of the telegram to you are among those who introduced and obtained the adoption of the Leavenworth resolution, and who are endeavoring to organize a force for the purpose of general retaliation upon Missouri. Those who so deplore my “imbecility” and “incapacity ” are the very men who are endeavoring to bring about a collision between the people of Kansas and the troops under General Ewing’s command.

I have not the “capacity” to see the wisdom or justice of permitting an irresponsible mob to enter Missouri for the purpose of retaliation, even for so grievous a wrong as that which Lawrence has suffered.

I have increased the force upon the border as far as possible, and no effort has been, or will be, spared to punish the invaders of Kansas, and to prevent such acts in the future. The force there has been all the time far larger than in any other portion of my department, except on the advanced line in Arkansas and the Indian Territory. . . .

P. S. Since writing the above I have received the “Daily Times” newspaper, published at Leavenworth, containing an account of the meeting referred to, and Senator Lane’s speech, which I have the honor to inclose herewith for your information.

In a letter of that same date (August 28), Governor Carney informed me, among other things, that “after the fearful disaster at Lawrence and on the return of our troops who had pursued Quantrill and his murderous band, General Ewing and General James H. Lane met at Morristown and spent the night together. The latter returned to Lawrence and called a mass meeting, at which he defended General Ewing and made an intensely bitter speech against you. Yesterday he arrived in this city, and soon after caused to be issued a placard stating he would address the citizens on war matters. There are two parties here—one for and the other against Ewing. That against him is headed by Mr. Wilder, member of Congress, and by Mr. Anthony, mayor of this city. This division put General Lane in this dilemma here, that he could not defend Ewing as he had done in Lawrence, and hence he devoted his whole attention to you. The more violent of the men opposing you are for independent raids into Missouri. How far General Lane encouraged this class you must judge from the facts I have stated and from the inclosed speech. To give tone and distinction to the meeting, General Lane offered a resolution calling upon the President to relieve you, affirming that there could be no safety in Kansas, no help for Kansas, unless this was done. . . . You will judge from the facts stated, from the course pursued by General Lane at Lawrence, and from his speech here, how far General Ewing is your friend or fit to command this district?”

On August 31, I started for the scene of the agitation. The following extracts from my journal reveal the situation:

Sept. 2.— Reached Leavenworth at five o’clock A. M. Stopped at the Planters’ Hotel; was called upon by Governor Carney and several of his political friends. Discussed at much length the condition of affairs in the District of the Border. Carney is an aspirant for the United States Senate. Intends to run against Lane. Desires to kill off Ewing, considering him a formidable rival, or at least a supporter of Lane. Ewing has determined not to be a candidate at the next election, and will not commit himself in support of either Carney or Lane. Desires to keep on good terms with Lane because he thinks Lane will probably be reelected. Carney understands Ewing as supporting Lane, or at least as having withdrawn in Lane’s favor. In fact, Ewing refuses an alliance with Carney. Carney therefore desires to kill Ewing. Lane finds it to his interest to sustain Ewing so long as Schofield commands the department. Ewing is a better man for Lane than any other Schofield would be likely to give him. Lane’s desire is to remove Schofield and get in his place a general who would place Kansas under command of one of Lane’s tools, or a man who could be made one by Lane; therefore Lane defends Ewing and concentrates his attack upon Schofield.

Asked and obtained a long private interview with Lane. Went over the whole ground of his hostility to Genl. S[chofield] during the past year. Showed him the injustice he had done Genl. S., and how foolish and unprofitable to himself his hostility had been. He stated with apparent candor that he had bent the whole energies of his soul to the destruction of Genl. S.; had never labored harder to accomplish any object in his life. Said he had been evidently mistaken in the character and principles of Genl. S., and that no man was more ready than he to atone for a fault. We then approached the subject of the invasion of Missouri by people of Kansas. Genl. Lane still adheres to his design of collecting the people at Paola and leading them on an expedition “for the purpose of searching for their stolen property.” He professes his ability to control the people; that he would be answerable, and offered to pledge himself to Genl. S. and the government that they should do nothing beyond that which he declares as the object of the expedition.

Lane was informed that Genl. S. would go to Kansas City the next day, and Lane replied that he intended to go also. It was agreed that both should go the next morning and converse with Genl. Ewing on the subject. The same evening Genl. Lane made a public speech in Leavenworth, in which he urged the people to meet at Paola, and assured there that the department and district commanders would not interfere with the proposed expedition; on the contrary, that both would countenance and cooperate with it. He also proclaimed the object to be to lay waste the border counties of Missouri and exterminate the disloyal people. This statement, following an interview on that subject, was calculated to mislead a large number of well-disposed people who would not for a moment think of acting in opposition to military rules, and to greatly increase the number of people who would assemble at Paola, and seriously complicate the difficulty.

In the evening had another interview with Gov. Carney and some of his friends. My main object was to secure the full cooperation of the State government in preventing the invasion of Missouri. For this purpose I had to consult to a considerable degree the political views and aims of the governor and his friends. Their object was, of course, to make out of Lane’s project as much capital as possible against him. It was held by many of them that Lane had no serious design of entering Missouri; that he expected, of course, that the military authorities would forbid it; and that he would yield as a military necessity, and thus gain with his people additional ground for condemnation of the department commander, while he had the credit of having done all he possibly could to enable them to “recover their stolen property.” . . . Viewing matters in this light, the governor and his advisers were strongly inclined to the opinion that the surest way of making capital for themselves out of Lane’s move was to let him go on with it, without any interference on their part, confident that it would turn out a grand humbug. . . . After reaching Kansas City and talking with Genl. Ewing, I replied to the governor, accepting the services of as many of his troops as he and Genl. Ewing should deem necessary for the protection of all the towns in Kansas near the border, stating that with Kansas so protected, Genl. Ewing would not only carry out his order for the expulsion of disloyal persons, but also in a short time drive out the guerrillas from his district and restore peace. In addition to this, I wrote the governor a private letter urging him to issue his proclamation discouraging the Paola meeting and warning his people against any attempt to go into Missouri, and informing him I would issue an order forbidding armed men not in the regular military service from crossing the line.

Sept. 4.—I received the governor’s reply that he would issue his proclamation as requested, and also asking permission to publish a letter which I had written him on August 29, in reply to one from him regarding these matters. This permission was granted.

My order was also published declaring that the militia of Kansas and Missouri would be used only for the defense of their respective States; that they should not pass from one State into the other without express orders from the district commander; that armed bodies of men not belonging to the United States troops, or to the militia placed under the orders of the department commander by the governors of their respective States, should not, under any pretext whatever, pass from one State into the other.

In the evening of the 3d I sent a despatch to the general-in-chief [Halleck], informing him that the Paola movement was under the control and guidance of Lane, and that I should not permit them to enter Missouri; that Lane said he would appeal to the President; that I did not apprehend a hostile collision; but that a despatch from the President or the Secretary of War (to Lane) would aid me much in preventing difficulty.

If such despatch should be sent, I requested to be informed of its purport. No reply received from the general-in-chief up to this time (1 p.m., Sept. 5).

Sept. 6.—Lane failed to meet me at Kansas City, according to agreement. My correspondence with Governor Carney relative to the Lawrence massacre and the Paola movement appeared in the Leavenworth papers of yesterday; also my order forbidding armed citizens from crossing into Missouri.

The governor’s proclamation did not appear according to promise; probably he may have decided to defer it until after the Paola meeting, as a means of making capital against Lane.

A private letter from one of Governor Carney’s advisers was received yesterday (5th), dated the 3d, but evidently written in the evening of the 4th or morning of the 5th, which indicated that Carney does not intend to publish a proclamation, for the reason that Lane desires to force him to do it.

Went to Westport yesterday. Met several of the leading loyal citizens; all agree that Genl. Ewing’s order No. 11 is wise and just—in fact a necessity. I have yet to find the first loyal man in the border counties who condemns it. They are also warm in their support of Genl. Ewing, and deprecate his removal. I am satisfied he is acting wisely and efficiently. . . .

The radicals in Missouri condemn him (Ewing) as one of my friends; the conservatives, because he is a Kansas man, and more especially because of his order No. 11, and similar reasons and radical measures. For a time this will weaken me very much, and possibly may cause my overthrow. This risk I must take, because I am satisfied I am doing the best for the public good, and acting according to my instructions from the President. I seem in a fair way to reach one of the positions referred to in the President’s letter of instructions, viz.: that in which both factions will abuse me. According to the President’s standard, this is the only evidence that I will ever have that I am right. It is hardly possible that I will ever reach a point where both will commend me. . . .

Sept. 8.—Went to Independence yesterday, in company with Genl. Ewing; . . . made a few remarks to quite a large assemblage of people, which were well received; was followed by Genl. Ewing in an appropriate speech, which produced a good effect.

Have determined to modify General Ewing’s order, or rather he will modify it at my suggestion, so that no property shall be destroyed. I deem the destruction of property unnecessary and useless. The chief evil has resulted from the aid given to guerrillas in the way of information conveyed by disloyal people, and by preparing their food for them. This evil is now removed. Forage and grain cannot be destroyed or carried away to such extent as materially to cripple them. I will as far as possible preserve the property of all loyal people, with the view of permitting them to return as soon as the guerrillas shall be driven out. Property of known rebels will be appropriated as far as possible to the use of the army and loyal people who are made destitute. None will be destroyed.

Had a long interview this morning with Mayor Anthony of Leavenworth and a number of influential citizens of that place. Anthony was arrested and sent to this place yesterday by a detective in the employ of Genl. Ewing. The arrest was without authority, and Genl. Ewing promptly discharged the mayor. The object of the citizens was to obtain a revocation of martial law in Leavenworth, and come to a correct understanding as to the relation between the military and civil authorities in that town, so as to prevent difficulty in future. The whole matter was satisfactorily arranged. . . .

So far as can be learned, no people have gone from Leavenworth to the Paola meeting, and it is probable the whole affair will amount to nothing. Believing that the trouble here is substantially over, I propose to start for St. Louis to-morrow morning.

A regiment of enrolled militia ordered to New Madrid to relieve the 25th Missouri, in order that the latter might go to reinforce General Steele in Arkansas, mutinied after they had gone on board the steamer, brought the boat ashore, and went to their homes. The provost guard of St. Louis was sent to arrest them. News having come of the capture of Little Rock, the two enrolled militia regiments in St. Louis were dismissed, except the mutineers, who were kept at hard labor for some time, and the leaders tried for mutiny.

This mutiny was caused by the efforts of the radical papers and politicians, who had for some time openly opposed the organization of the provisional regiments, and encouraged the men to mutiny.

I published an order enforcing martial law against all who should incite mutiny among the troops, and through General Halleck obtained the President’s approval of this order, but did not find it necessary to make that approval public until it was made known by the President himself.

In writing to General Halleck on September 20, I said:

I inclose herewith a copy of an order which I have found it necessary to publish and enforce. The revolutionary faction which has so long been striving to gain the ascendancy in Missouri, particularly in St. Louis, to overthrow the present State government and change the policy of the national administration, has at length succeeded so far as to produce open mutiny of one of the militia regiments and serious difficulties in others.

I inclose a number of slips from papers published in Missouri, to show the extent to which this factious opposition to the government has been carried. The effect already produced is but natural; and the ultimate effect will be disastrous in the extreme, unless a strong remedy be applied speedily.

Out of consideration for popular opinion and the well-known wishes of the President relative to freedom of speech and of the press, I have forborne until, in my belief, further forbearance would lead to disastrous results. I am thoroughly convinced of the necessity for prompt and decided measures to put down this revolutionary scheme, and my sense of duty will not permit me

to delay it longer. It is barely possible that I may not have to enforce the order against the public press. They may yield without the application of force; but I do not expect it. The tone of some of their articles since the publication of the order indicates a determination to wage the war which they have begun to the bitter end. This determination is based upon the belief that the President will not sustain me in any such measures as those contemplated in the order. A distinct approval by the President of my proposed action, and a knowledge of the fact here, would end the whole matter at once. I desire, if possible, to have such approval before taking action in any individual case. Indeed, I believe such approval would prevent the necessity for the use of force. It is difficult, I am aware, for any one at a distance to believe that such measures can be necessary against men and papers who claim to be “radically loyal.” The fact is, they are “loyal” only to their “radical” theories, and are so “radical” that they cannot possibly be “loyal” to the government. . . .

These men were styled “revolutionists,” not without sufficient cause. It was currently reported that they had in 1861 conceived the elevation of Fremont to a dictatorship. In 1862, and again in 1863, they invented a scheme for the violent overthrow of the provisional State government and the existing national administration in Missouri. The first act of the program was to seize and imprison Governor Gamble and me. In 1862 some of them committed the indiscretion of confiding their plans to General Frank P. Blair, Jr., who at once warned me of it, but refused to give me the names of his informers or of the leaders. He said he could not do so without breach of confidence, but that he had informed them that he should give me warning and expose the individuals if any further steps were taken. Here the matter ended. In 1863 I received warning through the guard stationed at my residence in the suburbs of the city, with which the revolutionists had the folly to tamper in their efforts to spread disaffection among my troops. This discovery, and the premature mutiny of the regiment ordered to New Madrid, nipped the plot in the bud. I refer to the circumstances now only to show that I was not unjust in my denunciation of the “revolutionary faction” in Missouri.

In General Halleck’s letter of September 26, inclosing the President’s written approval of my general order, he said:

. . . Neither faction in Missouri is really friendly to the President and administration; but each is striving to destroy the other, regardless of all other considerations. In their mutual hatred they seem to have lost all sense of the perils of the country and all sentiment of national patriotism. Every possible effort should be made to allay this bitter party strife in that State.

In reply, September 30, I expressed the following opinion:

. . . I feel compelled to say that I believe you are not altogether right in your information about the factions in Missouri. If the so-called “claybank” faction are not altogether friendly to the President and administration, I have not been able to discover it. The men who now sustain me are the same who rallied round Lyon and sustained the government in the dark days of 1861, while the leaders of the present “charcoal” faction stood back until the danger was past. I believe I have carried out my instructions as literally as possible, yet I have received a reasonable support from one faction and the most violent opposition from the other. I am willing to pledge my official position that those who support me now will support me in the execution of any policy the President may order. They are the real friends of the government. It is impossible for me to be blind to this fact, notwithstanding the existence, to some extent, of the factional feeling to which you allude.

The improvement produced by the order was so decided that publication of the President’s approval was thought unnecessary. It only became public through his letter of October l, 1863, of which he gave a copy to the radical delegation.

In September the governor of Missouri placed all the militia of the State, including those not in active service, under my command. I published orders intended to control their action and prevent interference with political meetings; also to secure freedom of voting at the coming election in November. Several militia officers guilty of such interference were dismissed, which produced a wholesome effect.

Galusha Anderson: Preacher and Educator Part 2

Galusha Anderson: Preacher and Educator – part 2

by

Frederick L. Anderson, Author

Elbridge R. Anderson, Publisher

1933

Go to Part 1

Missouri Civil War Reader, Volume I now available

The Fight for Missouri by Thomas L. Snead, 1886

The Struggle for Missouri by John McElroy, 1909

The Story of a Border City During the Civil War by Galusha Anderson, 1908

The Crisis by Winston Churchill, 1901

Basil Duke in Missouri by Gen. Basil Wilson Duke, 1911

The Brown-Reynolds Duel, 1911

Cost per CD ROM is $24.95 + $4.00 priority mail shipping

Introduction: What follows is a biography written in 1933 by the son of Galusha Anderson, a minister who spent the Civil War years in the volatile, divided city of St. Louis, Missouri. In a city of often ambiguous loyalties, Galusha Anderson was one of the devoutly loyal Unionists and one of the most committed abolitionists. In 1908 he wrote “The Story of a Border City During the Civil War,” his remembrances of the war years in St. Louis. The book is one of the most valuable records of these years in the city, with many of the major players in the events of the war years appearing in its pages. The perspective is very decidedly Union with Galusha Anderson giving no quarter to the opposition’s viewpoint. But he is a fine writer with a lively, very readable style, and a fine eye for detail. His view of events is uniquely his own and shaped by his own biases so the critical reader must balance the accounts of “The Story of a Border City During the War” with other reading. This is one of the reasons for the particular selection of texts offered in the Missouri Civil War Reader, Volume I, to provide that balance.

The biographical narrative on these web pages, written by Frederick Lincoln Anderson, born in St. Louis in 1862, offers an interesting background perspective on Galusha Anderson, the person, that he didn’t include in his own book. His background as an abolitionist, the tragic loss of his first family shortly after arriving in St. Louis, and additional events in St. Louis, help round out the character of Reverend Galusha Anderson.

The text of “Galusha Anderson: Preacher and Educator” by Frederick L. Anderson is copyrighted material not in the public domain. It may not be copied, reproduced, or distributed without permission. Contact George L. Thurlow for information.

Thanks to Mr. Thurlow for making this account of his great-grandfather possible on these pages. –D. H. Rule

Bio of Galusha Anderson

Pages on Civil War St. Louis excerpted from “The Story of a Border City During the War”:

Charcoals and Claybanks

Home Guard

Missouri Oath of Loyalty 1865

Go to Part 1


GALUSHA ANDERSON

COLLEGE PRESIDENCIES

Then my father in February, 1878, was asked to accept the presidency of the University of Chicago, that institution, founded twenty years before, had reached its lowest point. “Its creditors were clamorous, its current expenses unmet, its professors unpaid. A huge mortgage debt of $200,000.00 rested on its property, on which no interest had ever been received. General opprobrium was visited upon it. The press of the city was unwilling to give it a respectful mention. The disastrous controversies and intricate dishonesties of years had made it a term of reproach.” In this crisis the trustees turned to my father, the most prominent Baptist minister in Chicago, to lead the forlorn hope and save the University. The task appealed to his chivalry, courage, and faith in God and in himself. He believed the promises made by the trustees, and feeling that the call was of God, as I have no doubt it was, he thought that it was “his duty to enter on this arduous and difficult work.”

He left the largest, pleasantest and most fruitful of his pastorates and a salary of $ 5,000.00 to embark upon a sea of troubles at $3,000.00 a year. This was guaranteed him by three or four of the trustees, but they paid it in full only for the first quarter and none at all after the first year of the seven years’ war. For the last six years, as he himself expressed it, “The President of the University had no stated salary; he skirmished for it.” The actual facts were worse than he had supposed. The University reported $160,000.00 of assets. On examination these proved worth $1,500.00. An endowment of $500.00 was discovered. The University had no credit. My father’s first experience was ordering coal. No one would sell the University coal, for which it then owed $1,000.00. The first thing he had to do was to go out and raise the $1,000.00; after that the University could get coal. Every year the President himself raised from $6,000.00 to $10,000.00 for current expenses. When he resigned, there were no unpaid bills of his contracting and he had paid $20,000.00 –practically all of the old bills. he carried a subscription book in his pocket, made a business of buttonholing the business men of Chicago, and he got the money. He wrote, “It is hard and repulsive work. Sometimes it seems that I can no longer endure it.” For current expenses, the mortgage debt, and endowment he begged unceasingly and in every quarter. Some of his letters to possible donors give us insights into his feelings. He writes, “This is the hardest work I ever tried to do.” He declines to speak at the May Anniversaries. “My ship is in a terrible storm and I cannot leave her.” “I am like a man at the pumps; I must pump or drown.” He writes to his father-in-law, “I never yet failed in any enterprise in which I engaged, and I cannot make up my mind to fail in this. I have lots of plans to work out yet before I say die. I am just getting my teeth in. That it is a tough, ugly job no one can doubt for a moment, but it is a very important one and must not be abandoned.” He wrote Dr. Bright, “I am sometimes, not to say often, at my wit’s end, but I feel determined and gritty. And as I see no light on the right hand or on the left, before or behind, I look straight up and the heavens are full of light.” A year after he had begun, Mr. N. K. Fairbank, the President of the Trustees and his good friend, advised him to quit since “his treatment by the Trustees had been far from generous.” This my father admitted, but wrote, “Since a great educational task has been committed to me, I do not think that I ought to abandon it so long as there is a vestige of hope.” These sentences give the mental background of the long struggle.

The University had good buildings, somewhat run-down, a student body of about 150 on the average, and a fine faculty, some of whom later became college presidents. They were heroes all, working enthusiastically for small pay out of sheer loyalty. When they learned my father’s policy of never paying; himself a cent of his month’s salary till the last teacher was paid in full, they rallied around him with a warmth and affection seldom equalled. Rarely has a President been more popular with students and Faculty. He taught Psychology, Ethics, Logic and International Law and often a term of English History. Every morning he walked or rode two miles with me to the University, taught and attended to his administrative duties there and disappeared about ten for his downtown office and his begging. Free evenings and often midnight hours, as well as the time on trains and horse cars, he devoted to the subjects he taught. But it was a good school and he did high-grade teaching. As he said in leaving it, “The University has done more on less money in the last seven years than any institution in the United States.”

He tried everything after the Chicago Baptists left him in the lurch at the start. He went to California and besought the big Bonanza kings to endow the University. He became well acquainted with Flood, Fair, Lucky Baldwin, old Senator Jones, the Nevada silver king, and Leland Stanford. They received and entertained him finely. He spent much time in their homes. He was a new sort to them and they rather liked to be considered possible patrons of learning. But they did not give him anything. Still Leland Stanford most seriously considered his proposition, and it was my father who planted in his mind the seed thought which later grew into Leland Stanford, Jr., University.

Then he tried the brethren in the East. He got nothing except rebuffs in Boston, but the New York Baptists were kinder. They helped considerably on current expenses, not much for the debt, but they promised that if Chicago would raise the debt, they would contribute liberally to endowments. They felt that otherwise they would be sinking their money in a hole. Again and again he felt that of Baptists he alone saw the importance of the task. He once semi-humorously called himself the President of the University that “nobody on earth cares for,” which was not quite true, for the Faculty and Oscar Barrett and his fidus Achates, Dr. Justin Smith of the Standard, and, in the East, Dr. Bright, did care.

He became convinced that if Chicago did not pay the debt, no one would and so he began to cultivate the great Chicago millionaires, and to preach to them in season and out of season the value of higher education, until finally even the magnates who smelled of the Stock Yards began to think; that possibly there was something worth thinking about besides hogs. The more he met these men, the better they liked him in spite of his begging. He lifted the University to a new level in their thinking. The newspapers began to speak respectfully and then sympathetically and finally in praise of him and his work. He was admitted to some fine clubs and inner circles, and made a host of friends and admirers entirely outside the Baptist constituency. These people gave him the bulk of the money for current expenses.

When every one else failed him, he conceived the idea of paying the debt himself. To that end, he went into silver mines. He made some money and lost more. Then he became the President of two electric light companies. These succeeded better. Just as he was leaving Chicago, he managed to realize on his holdings in electric light and got enough to pay all his debts and go to Salem with $1,000.00 in his pocket. During the seven years’ fight he had put into the University all his savings and had sometimes been as much as $3,000.00 in debt due to unpaid salary, but electric light took care of all this, though it did not pay the University debt.

l have told the inside history first to give the personal background, The initial public act of my father’s administration was an attack on the debt of $200,000.00, secured by a mortgage given by the Trustees of the University in 1876 to the Union Mutual Life Insurance Company of Portland, Maine. Much of this debt was compound interest. The actual loan was $109,000.00 and the debtor was really bankrupt. The Company was finally induced to compromise for $100,000.00, and a very active campaign was made for it. But 1878 belonged to the “hard times,” and with all his energy and persistence, the President raised only $25,000.00. A continuance of the offer of $100,000.00 for another year was asked, but was refused, and all propositions of compromise were brusquely rejected, and the creditor even refused to foreclose. In these circumstances, at my father’s suggestion, the University regents, not trustees but representatives of the State of Illinois, brought suit to discover the validity of a mortgage on property which in the deed of gift was forever dedicated to educational purposes. This action had not the slightest purpose of repudiation, but was meant to force the creditor to compromise or at least foreclose and to disclose in court the exact legal and business status. The bill was drawn under the direction of one of the regents, Mr. I. N. Arnold, one of Chicago’s leading lawyers and a citizen of unblemished reputation for the highest integrity and on the advice of Hon. Joseph L. Bailey, afterwards Chief Justice of Illinois, a leading Baptist and a most consistent Christian.

This suit, brought in the State courts, forced the hand of the Insurance Company, and it immediately brought suit for foreclosure in the United States Court. This was resisted by the University on the grounds of the inalienability of the property and the excessive compound interest demanded in the bill. This again was only an attempt to get a reasonable adjustment, which the Insurance Company President for personal reasons well known to the University opposed. These cases dragged their slow length along for several years in the Courts, until finally the regents’ suit failed and the Federal judge gave the decision in favor of the Insurance Company. In this suit in the Federal Court, one of the counsel for the University was Melville W. Fuller, afterwards Chief Justice of the United States, who was such a friend of the University and of my father, so convinced of the soundness of the legal contention of the defendant and of the justice of its cause that he served without pay. Mr. Fuller’s advice after the decision was to appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States, and it must be noted that, if the appeal had been made, the Chief Justice of the United States could not have sat on the case, as he had already expressed an opinion in favor of the University.

But this appeal was never asked although my father heartily favored it. During this litigation, the cry that the University was repudiating its obligation was raised by the Insurance Company and its lawyers and the basest motives were ascribed to my father and his coadjutors. This cry, strange to say, was taken up by some Baptist brethren in the East, and was supported by the editors of the Watchman and the National Baptist of Philadelphia. In both papers, my father carried on a long and painful controversy. He was the soul of honor and honesty and nothing in his public life ever hurt him like this charge, especially as he knew himself to be perfectly innocent. His last sentence on the subject in the Watchman was, “I sleep well, a good conscience makes a very comfortable bedfellow.” Some Chicago papers, probably paid by the Insurance Company, joined in the man hunt. Even the Chicago Methodist organ reviled my father and all his friends. But most of the Chicago papers, the Western Baptists unanimously, the Chicago business men, and Dr. Bright of the Examiner and Dr. Justin A. Smith of the Standard stood by the University President through thick and thin. It was a great comfort to him that such a pure soul, such a sensitive spirit, such a clear mind as that of Justin A. Smith supported him without any ifs or buts.

But nevertheless the leading Chicago Baptist ministers, Lorimer, Lawrence and Henson, were finally frightened by the bitterness of the controversy, and under the leadership of Dr. Lorimer, by a majority of one vote, the Trustees voted not to appeal the suit to the United States Supreme Court, and this this was approved by a narrow majority in a very lively mass-meeting of Baptists. The results were that the University property was taken under foreclosure, and the University buildings subsequently pulled down, that my father resigned in May, 1885, and Dr. Lorimer was elected acting President of the University, that he raised no money and resigned at the end of the year, that the University, after going on for two years in hired rooms under the direction of the Faculty, finally expired in 1887.

Was this Chicago Presidency a failure? At the time of his resignation my father and nearly everybody else thought so. It had been a long, hard, gallant fight against overwhelming odds, and without the aid of the reinforcements, which, though persistently requested and long awaited, never appeared. So the soldier at last laid down his arms and surrendered the fort, defeated but not dishonored. But God’s thoughts are long thoughts, and looking back now, we see that it was a really advantageous battle in a long war, which was finally crowned by victory. We need not speak of the excellent educational work done in the University and the noble characters formed and molded there under my father’s influence. We know now that his holding of the fort, so much longer than any one expected he could, disarranged and defeated well-formed plans for a great agnostic University of Chicago, that he held on long enough to make the new Christian University of Chicago a possibility and finally a reality. During seven weary years, he sowed the seed of a real interest in higher education in the minds of the moneyed men of Chicago. And some of these men, who had become my father’s friends, were the first to contribute liberally to the new University. Mr. Cobb built its Cobb Hall; Mr. Kent, who had always helped largely on current expenses, built Kent Theater; George C. Walker put up the Natural Science Building; Mrs. Annie Hitchcock, Hitchcock Hall; Mrs. Beecher, Beecher and Green Halls; and Miss Helen Culver, who had received her millions from her uncle, Mr. Hull, with the expressed wish that they might be used for higher education, built Hull Court. It is probable that my father’s long and frequent talks with Mr. Rockefeller about the old University prepared his mind for the propositions of the founders of the new University. Mr. Rockefeller was my father’s fast friend and a liberal giver to current expenses.

Had the struggle for the old University been given up after one year in 1879, as many advised, the new University would probably never have existed. God raised my father up to fill the gap.

But in an account of his public services, mention must be made of his political activities in Chicago. In the Blaine-Cleveland campaign of 1884, the Democrats controlled the election machinery in the city, reduced the number of polling places in the Republican wards, and placed the polling places in the down-town Democratic wards in dark alleys and rough saloons, to scare away respectable voters. My father took the initiative to remedy this situation and headed a Citizens Committee of One Hundred to do it. They put great electric lamps in the dark alleys till they were as light as day, they organized Republican bands to occupy the rough saloons, they brought the Republican voters in hundreds to each of the polls before the voting hour, and saved the State to Blaine 18,000 majority. In this election, there was great fraud in the use of tissue ballots, but this Committee sent the rascals, including the leading Democratic boss of Chicago, Joe Mackin, to State’s Prison. Thither they also sent the corrupt County Commissioners of Cook County in which Chicago is situated. And, as if time hung idly on his hands, my father exposed the corrupt ring which had long dominated the suburb in which he lived, Hyde Park, and soundly defeated them in a very bitter and nasty political campaign. The best men of Chicago rallied almost unanimously to him in these contests and he had some political victories to assuage the sting and mortification of what seemed to him his educational debacle.

When he was about to leave Chicago, the Nominating Committee of the Vassar Trustees unanimously recommended him to their Board for the vacant Presidency. After a long and exceedingly disgraceful fight on him by a little clique whom he had offended in college, he was defeated on the grounds that he had tried to repudiate the debts of the University. The files of the Examiner for 1885 tell the whole unvarnished tale.

After a brief period of refreshment in the Salem pastorate, my father undertook his second college presidency, going to Denison University, Granville, Ohio, January 1, 1887, on the unanimous invitation of the Trustees. Here he quickly put things in order. He built the oak steps up the hill, improved the roads, properly lighted the buildings, and brought a new spirit of liberty and discipline to the institution. He catalogued the library and made it accessible to the young women of Shepardson College. He reorganized the institution, making Granville College and Shepardson College constituent parts of Denison University, with mutual privileges, and separating the preparatory department from the College under the name of Granville Academy. He attracted many excellent teachers and the student body rapidly grew in numbers. But after two and a half years, the health of his family required a change of climate and he accepted in 1890 the call to teach Homiletics and Pastoral Duties in the Baptist Union Theological Seminary at Morgan Park, which two years afterwards became the Divinity School of the new University of Chicago. We should say in passing that his going to Denison six months before Dr. Anderson’s resignation at Rochester deprived him of the Presidency of the University of Rochester, a consummation which had been long desired by President Anderson and the University Trustees.

His college presidencies filled ten years of his life, and showed his great executive talents. He was an excellent teacher, he had a large, sane and healthful influence on the young men and women in college, he dealt firmly, wisely and kindly in cases of discipline, he always bound his faculty to him with the warmest ties, he knew how to manage Boards of Trustees so as to secure their cordial assent to his policies and to make them friends. He clearly analyzed situations, knew just what he wanted, and went right on to get it. It was open diplomacy, and yet there was often a dash of natural shrewdness in it. My father was fundamentally a practical man.

PROFESSOR OF HOMILETICS

Twenty-one years my father occupied the Homiletical Chair, seven years in Newton, 1866-1873, and fourteen years in Chicago, 1890-1904. In addition, during his Second Church pastorate, and afterwards during his Chicago University Presidency, he taught Homiletics as a side issue at the Baptist Theological Seminary. He also taught the subject three years in the Gordon School, now Gordon College, in Boston. To this work he gave the largest fraction of his public life. I cannot say that it was his favorite occupation. He seemed to me to enjoy the pastorate, the College Presidency and the Homiletical Chair almost equally and never expressed any decided preference. Only one thing he disliked and that was begging. Yet he did a good deal of that not only in Chicago, but in St. Louis and Newton and at Denison. I think that my father would best have enjoyed the presidency of a good-sized college, like Brown.

When it comes to his work in Homiletics, my materials become scanty. My father was my pastor in Brooklyn and Chicago and I remember him well in the pulpit and the prayer-meeting. During the long struggle in the University of Chicago, he was my College President. I lived in the house with him and, young as I was, he made me one of his confidants, but I never entered his homiletical classroom. Many of his pupils could give a more intimate view of him in this capacity than I can.

In his view of the homiletical department, theory was of slight importance compared with practice. At the beginning of his service at Newton, he studied profoundly in the original and by the aid of the best commentaries, Aristotle on Rhetoric, and he often said that later writers had never added anything essential. He always refused to write a textbook on Homiletics, declaring that he had nothing new to say. He considered that one term was enough for theory, that the rest of the time should be devoted to the construction and criticism of sermons. His great labor, and incredible labor it was, was the criticism of sermons, a criticism thorough and minute, as the thousands of red-inked manuscripts returned to students can testify. This and the personal conference with students in elaboration of the criticism was the bulk of his task. Constructive Homiletics was his great course and many a preacher has been born there.

His criticism was always kindly, but it was thorough. Nothing slipshod or superficial was allowed to pass. He could be and often was severe. My only experience with him in Homiletics was during my seminary course in Morgan Park. My professor was an excellent preacher, and one of the most lovable of men, but he could not teach, in fact he was afraid of his classes. So I asked my father to give me a correspondence course. I shall never forget the first plan I sent him. By some inscrtable fate, I hit upon the obscure text, Rev. 22: ”11, “He that is filthy, let him be filthy still; and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still.” He wrote in reply, “There is only one good thing about your sermon: it has a beginning, a middle, and an end. You do not know what your text means. Your introduction has nothing to do with your discourse. Your proposition is false. Your divisions do not flow out of your proposition and are not mutually exclusive. Your application is weak. Try again. Your affectionate Father,

Galusha Anderson.”

It is needless to say that, having been somewhat petted in the Seminary, this gave me a rather lively shock. Nothing ever did me more good.

My father always insisted on thorough exegesis of the text, sound definition, clear analysis and a real presentation of truth. As a teacher he was kind but firm, tenacious of his points, lucid in exposition, strong in analysis. From the students he insisted on accuracy and fulness of statement. He encouraged debate in which he was always happy and sensible. He relentlessly stuck to the subject under discussion, refused to be diverted, and usually managed to go through the assigned task in the assigned hour.

Until he came to Newton, sermons had been written and read there. He insisted on preaching without notes, and was one of the greatest, simplest and most philosophical teachers of extempore speaking in the country. His theory at this point seems to me unassailable. He also required written sermons for criticism, but all sermons delivered in the classroom or the chapel were delivered without paper. At Newton, he also taught elocution and with eminent sanity and success. There were no blackboards at Newton before his day. He had them installed against the grumbling protest of solve of the Trustees, and used them copiously. During his stay at Newton, he preached a great deal, took a large and active part in raising the endowment, which at his insistence was made double what was first proposed. In these years, he declined a call to the First Church of San Francisco and the Presidency of Shurtleff. Dr. Barnas Sears also, on his resignation at Brown, indicated my father as his choice for the succession there, but another got more votes.

At Chicago, he pursued the same course as in Newton, but amplified his teaching with courses on Ancient and Modern Preachers, and on Hymnology. Both at Newton and Chicago, he also taught Church Polity, on which he wrote a pamphlet. In later years at Chicago, his position grew more difficult, as he was not so liberal in his doctrinal views as the most of his colleagues. He finally retired on an old-age pension, though he sensed the fact that at seventy-two he still had ten good working years left.

EVENING

The evening of his life was long and peaceful. He preached a great deal but not so much as he desired. He was often called upon for set addresses. Two outstanding speeches should be mentioned. At the Chicago dinner at the Los Angeles Convention in 1915 he gave a remarkable prophecy of the outcome of the war, which has been almost literally fulfilled and deeply impressed all who heard. At the inauguration of President Barbour at Rochester, in his charge to the new President, he easily carried off the palm in two days of addresses. It was his last great public address and one of his very best. He rendered very valuable service on the Board of the Foreign Society, 1903-1909, and served on the Committee which took the initial steps for the union of Baptists and Free Baptists.

But the principal work of his old age was authorship. Already in his last year at Chicago, with the aid of Dr. Edgar Goodspeed, he had published the “Sermons of Asterius.” In  1908, he sent forth “The Story of a Border City During the Civil War,” an account of the fight for St. Louis, illumined by his personal experiences. A great deal of careful historical research lies behind this book, and it is greatly appreciated and much used by the professors of American History in the colleges of the country. Only Snead’s “Fight for Missouri” and Winston Churchill’s “Crisis” rank with it [all three of these important classics of Civil War St. Louis history are available on the Missouri Civil War Reader]. In 1910, he gathered some interesting anecdotes of his pastorates, already published in the Standard, in a little volume called “Hitherto Untold.” In 1911 he set forth the story of his country neighborhood in western New York under the title “When Neighbors Were Neighbors.” This was his most delightful and most successful book. It was widely circulated and sold for some years: The simple, objective, playful style and the oldtime life portrayed make it exceedingly attractive, especially to older men brought up in the country, and it has been highly valued by some eminent professors of American History.

With this book, he felt his literary labors at an end, but urged by my mother and myself, in 1915 he collected what he considered his best papers in “Science and Prayer and Other Papers,” and in 1917, the last year of his life, he laboriously selected the best of my mother’s poems, wrote her biography with tears, and published the book as a memorial to her. He finished with it only a month before he. fell sick. . . . So he worked on to the end. The last meeting of any kind which he ever attended was the meeting of the C. C. Club in January, 1918, after preaching twice in Lexington the day before, and in the City Club of Boston he suffered the initial and deadly chill which presaged his long, painful and fatal illness.

THE MAN

My father received from his parents a priceless heritage, more to be desired than gold or rubies, the result of generations of pure, godly living, viz.: a frame of oak, an iron nerve, a serene spirit, a gracious presence, and a sound common-sense. When I recall him, sturdy, rugged strength is my first thought, a strength on which men learned to rely and in the shadow of which the weak and helpless found a sure and kindly refuge. No one knew that refuge better than I, and when I saw him in the dawn of that beautiful summer morning peacefully breathe out his life, the whole earthly background of my own living suddenly disappeared.

The root of this strength of his was an indomitable will, for, after all, the will is the man. He was usually slow in making up his mind, but, his mind once made up, he was slower still to change. Inflexible purpose, unswerving determination, tireless perseverance are the words to describe, it. All this involved a glorious courage, and that finest kind of patience, which is courage long drawn out. Dangers could not daunt him. He did not turn aside when he heard that there were lions in the way, difficulties were only a challenge to his resourcefulness and, as he loved to call it, his stick-to-it-iveness. In all his long career, he never failed but once, and that we see now was a triumph of character, and a triumph in fact. When he took up a thing, he carried it through to the end, and men knew he would and trusted him on that account. This meant thoroughness. He hated sloppy, half-baked performances. On taking the Chair of Homiletics on Newton Hill, he prepared himself for the task by reading all the great works on rhetoric in their original languages, beginning with Aristotle, and he often told me that after reading Aristotle, he did not learn much from the rest. Once at twelve years of age, a very immature and half-formed boy, I went to my father about eight in the evening with a lesson, which I had found impossible, in a subject with which he was unfamiliar. Bitterly I rued it. He would not let the lesson or me go till both he and I had absolutely mastered it to the last detail. It was after midnight when we at last went to bed. I had not only learned that particular subject so that I shall never forget it, but that night 1 learned my father too.

It is now almost superfluous to say that he was a tireless worker. His superb constitution and great nervous energy made work and plenty of it a joy to him: He was always busy in his thorough way, but rarely hurried. He accomplished a vast deal because he was always at it. In the long evening of his life, he still devoted himself to literary labor, and the result was the books, which have made his name known far and wide. On the back of the title page of his last book stands the quotation, “At eve hold not thy hand.”

Still he was not an obstinate man. To be sure, he would not change his ideas and purposes merely to accommodate others, and they sometimes complained. But when the situation changed, he was quick to recognize it, and changed to suit it, and was ever ready to compromise on non-essentials. The only time he was really beaten, he knew it and quit, but generally when his friends and opponents said that he was beaten, he prepared another campaign, which clinched the victory. He was the shrewdest and most persistent fighter in a good cause that I have ever known. He was the most independent of men in thinking and action, little swayed by fashions in opinion or by the conservatism of his environment. He did his own thinking, and did not follow the leadership of others unless he had maturely considered and approved it. He was a leader himself. A few months after their marriage, my mother said, “You must.” He looked at her with a smile and a twinkle in his eye, and said, “Did you say ‘must’ to me? I do not know what ‘must’ means.” She never said it again. He was open to all appeals to reason, but the appeal to fear or compulsion always had the opposite of the desired effect. Threats only made him shut his mouth the more firmly and strengthened his resolution. He carried his sovereignty under his own hat. His self-respect was perfect and few ever attempted to invade it. He never could be forced against his will.

My father had a strong will, but he had a great heart, too. Though outwardly he always showed the calm of strength, and never was carried away by his emotions, he was a man of deep and tender feeling. As some one said, he was a great lover. He was never in the slightest sentimental. I never saw him until over eighty-four shed a tear, but he had in him a wellspring of the truest and purest sentiment, and this grew with the years.

He was at his best in the family circle. He loved his home, his wife, his children. He was a most affectionate husband, a tender and loving father. He had a remarkably even, cheery, sweet disposition. He was never irritable or fussy. Generous and considerate to a fault, he had an unselfishness, which never obtruded itself as such, which just made life easy, nobody knew just why. And he was the center of the home. Many brilliant circles knew him as a prince of story tellers, but he reserved his most delightful conversational treats for the home. When of an evening he began with reminiscence, anecdote and tale, punctuating them all with hearty laughter, there was no better entertainment in town. Even in the most dreadful hours of his life, his delicious humor never failed him. Indeed, like Abraham Lincoln, he took refuge in it. He was very fond of little children and they loved him. Though he never learned to take care of himself, he was one of the best sick nurses I ever knew. That strong, wholesome spirit seemed to irradiate health and cheer. And he depended on his home. Strong as he was, he needed its sympathy and support, and in later years, after my mother died, was quite wretched without it.

To such a man the deepest sorrows were the loss of loved ones. In his early manhood he buried in one grave two beautiful boys, and fourteen months afterwards in another single grave their mother and brother. Nothing was left him; his all was swept away. This was his Gethsemane, where he learned to say not with the lips, but with the heart, “Thy will be done.” A few months before his death he told me the whole story for the first time in detail, and I could see that while the dreadful wound of sixty years before was healed, it still pained. This terrible affliction made him wonderfully sympathetic with the bereaved, none of them could feel that he was more deeply afflicted than his pastor had been. None knew better what to do or say in the house of mourning than he.

Later he married my mother, and when, after fifty-five years of wedded life, she left him one evening, his sense of loss and loneliness was overwhelming. He found solace only in his work and in his faith. The last night of his life his thoughts were full of her, and he kept repeating, “I am coming, Mary. I am coming soon.”

My father was a great lover of nature. He delighted in his garden, especially his roses, and was an expert in raising sweet corn. He delighted in travel when once he was started, and he had set foot on every continent except South America, and on the soil of every American State. He gloried in the beauties unfolded by nature, whether at the North Cape or in the Lebanons, at Winnepesaukee or in the Yosemite. He was a lover of art and especially of the best music. He could not be kept away from the great annual rendition of the Messiah in Symphony Hall. He was there his last December as usual.

My father was always the friend and lover of the poor, the lowly, the oppressed. Those who had no helper found help in him. His heart grew quickly indignant at injustice and wrong. He had not a particle of race or class prejudice. He was himself a common man, a farmer’s boy sprung from the soil, and he was always proud of it. He was as good as anybody and everybody was as good as he was. This was his true Americanism, his deep democracy. Though he was a college president and professor most of his life, he never grew away from the common people, or developed the slightest scholastic pride. Though profoundly versed in his specialties, my father was always the practical man of affairs rather than the scholar. He loved his kind. He easily moved among men of all classes and races and treated all alike. Contempt for those beneath him in the social scale was wholly foreign to his nature, and condescension too. His father had been one of the first Abolitionists and voted for James G. Birney in 1844. My father’s heart bled for the Negro slaves, sold like cattle in the slave pens of St. Louis, and he was always the sincere friend of the Negro race. Looking over his old papers the other day, I noted also his rather elaborate study of the Chinese problem in California and his long-continued efforts in behalf of justice to them. He was always interested in Foreign Missions, but during and after his service on the Foreign Society Board in his seventies, the burden of the heathen world seemed rolled upon his spirit and I never knew him to pray for anything so earnestly and comprehensively as he did for our mission lands, and especially for Africa. Finally, he began lying awake nights thinking and praying about mission problems, until I found it necessary to urge him to resign front the Board. It is needless to add that he was generous with his money, almost to a fault, but in obedience to his Lord, he never let his left hand know what his right hand was doing. Few, therefore, knew of this trait in his character.

THE CHRISTIAN

Much of what I have described sprang from his life in Christ, and now I wish particularly to describe that. His father was a good Baptist deacon, his grandfather a good Presbyterian elder and his mother had been soundly converted some years before he was born. He had an inheritance of religion and he listened to very excellent preaching in his boyhood from Elder Zenas Coleman at the old Sweden and Bergen Church. He had long been seriously thinking on the subject of personal religion, when, at the age of twelve, one afternoon in his father’s barn, he kneeled down alone and gave himself to the service of Christ. He soon joyfully confessed this devotion of himself to the Savior in baptism, and always thereafter firmly believed in child conversion. So far as I ever heard he never had any period of backsliding but grew normally as a Christian, early taking up work for the conversion of others and public testimony for Christ. In early years he had a strong ambition to be a lawyer and statesman, but before graduation from college he became convinced that God wanted him in the ministry and he gladly followed the divine leading.

His Christian life was remarkably steady. I began to know him pretty intimately when he was about forty-five, and though it is heretical to say it, I never saw any growth in grace in him. He seemed to me as good and pure and devoted then as at eighty-five, no more, no less. Indeed his Christianity never seemed anything added to his character. It was his character, if I may so speak. He was fundamentally and through and through Christian. His Christianity was therefore perfectly natural, and it was perfectly natural for him to think and speak of it to any one. His sturdy commonsense and delightful sanity governed his religious life. I never heard one word which tended to asceticism or fanaticism, or any morbid or extravagant emotionalism. In thought he never went to extremes, but, taking the middle road, he kept making progress with the times even during his seventies and eighties. It was remarkable to see a man of eighty receptive to new religious ideas.

But, though all this is true, his religion was deep and warm and glowed with a steady fire of devotion. He loved God and his Son, Jesus Christ, the Church, and especially “the brethren.” I never saw any one so in earnest with his religion. It was the one great business of life to him. He was not much given to loud professions or long prayers, but he had a genius for doing, loving and helping. After his retirement from active life at seventy-two for some time I could not understand his zeal till it dawned upon me that he had made up his mind never again, unless actually under the doctor’s care, to refuse a call to preach or do any other service, nay he counted such opportunities as though they were priceless. His text must have been, “I must work the works of Him who sent me while it is day; the night cometh when no man can work.”

In fact his power as a preacher did not fail at all in old age in my estimation. Two or three years before his death he preached in the Newton Centre pulpit the best sermon I ever heard from him, and the last. I can see him yet as he stood erect, gracious and commanding before us. The first sentence enlisted the attention of all and he kept it rapt till the end. Fresh in treatment, bright in style, pellucidly clear; it led us on with deepening conviction and feeling to its noble climax.

He had his dearest wish. He worked in harness till the last. The day before he took to his bed with his long, last illness he preached twice at Lexington on a zero day, filling the pulpit of his grandson, Mr. Thurlow, who was working in France. He did it for Christ, and he did it as his share of war work for his country, without compensation, the last labor of love. We made one mistake at his funeral–the American flag should have draped his casket. No one ever loved it more devotedly or had fought more bravely for it. Rightly did the Veterans of the Civil War elect him an Honorary member and send representatives to his burial.

In ending this brief sketch, I should fail in a sacred duty, did I not repeat at his own behest the last connected words he spoke to me, two or three days before his departure to the better country, “Tell the brethren that there is no hope for any man except in the mercy of God as revealed in Jesus Christ; a man must rest in that alone. I would not now have a scintilla of hope, if I did not trust in Christ.” The better a man is the surer he is that that is the only way.

Noble man of God, good and faithful servant of Jesus Christ, brave soldier of the right, may we all share your spirit, which was the spirit of Christ!